Exploring middle-aged and older adults' sources of Internet self-efficacy: A case study

Yi Chun Lin, Jyh Chong Liang*, Ching Ju Yang, Chin Chung Tsai

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study was to examine sources underlying middle aged and older adults' Internet self-efficacy. Interview data were collected from a total of 24 middle aged and older adults to categorize and synthesize their sources of Internet self-efficacy. It was found that there are five sources, (1) successful performance accomplishments or experience using the Internet to fulfill basic and living needs, (2) vicarious admirable modeling by children, friends, and neighbors, (3) verbal or social persuasion by influential friends and family, (4) fear, bad memory, slow reactions, or a joyful state, and (5) a proactive personality. In addition, it was found that in addition to performance accomplishments, psychological and physiological states are another primary source of Internet self-efficacy for middle-aged and older adults. Our findings advance the Internet self-efficacy literature as they extend what is known about the previous four sources, and indicate that proactive personality may be another important source that has been previously overlooked. The five sources are likely to be related to each other, emphasizing dynamic and reciprocal relationships between performance accomplishments and emotional and physiological states, emotional state and proactive personality, as well as social persuasion and performance accomplishments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2733-2743
Number of pages11
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Emotional state
  • Performance accomplishments
  • Persuasion
  • Proactive personality
  • Sources of Internet self-efficacy
  • Vicarious modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • General Psychology


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