Investigating Koreans' Internet use patterns and motivations, and exploring vulnerability of Internet dependency


Yong Jun Choi

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Mass Communication and Journalism

First Advisor

Mazharul Haque

Advisor Department

Mass Communication and Journalism


Based on uses and gratification approach and expectancy-value approach, the present study investigates Koreans' Internet use and their motivations. Also, the degree of Internet dependency among Korean Internet users is examined. A web-based e-mail survey was conducted through the well-known Korean portal sites. 355 responses were collected. Results indicated that Koreans used the Internet for fulfilling several motivations, such as entertainment, sexuality, online transaction, and social interaction. Koreans' Internet use negatively affected their other media uses. There were significant differences between heavy and light Internet users. Heavy Internet users were more likely to use the Internet for entertainment, social interaction, online transaction and sexuality (marginally significant) than light Internet users. Heavy Internet users also used most Internet services (in particular, games and information search service) longer than light Internet users. Although the present study found only one Internet dependent among Korean online users, there were 70 moderate Internet dependents (19.7%). Moderate Internet dependents were more likely to use the Internet for chatting and gaming, and for entertainment, avoiding loneliness, and social interaction than average Internet users. Moderate dependents also were more likely to use the Internet for enjoying virtual fantasy and for anonymity than average Internet users. Finally, Multiple Regressions Analysis showed that four motivation factors (loneliness, social interaction, entertainment, and anonymity/fantasy), age variable, chatting service, and homepage management service were considered important variables to predict Internet dependency.