Attitudes towards Meeting in Real Life via the Internet in Japanese University Students

Abstract

In recent years, several crimes concerning victims and perpetrators who had previously met via the Internet and had subsequently met each other in real life have been reported in Japan . The purpose of this study was to examine attitudes towards meeting in people person in real life known only via Internet tools including Twitter, Facebook or Dating site etc, and to develop a scale to measure these attitudes. Two-hundred fifty-two university students (139 male and 113 female) completed a questionnaire consisting of 21 items relating to attitudes towards meeting others in real life via the Internet. They were also asked to have experience to meet an online acquaintance in person. The structure of this scale was analyzed through exploratory factor analysis using maximum-likelihood extraction with promax rotation. Five factors were extracted: interest in meeting via the Internet, convenience of online dating, risk awareness with meeting via the Internet, negative image towards meeting via the Internet, and anonymity of online dating. These cronbach's alphas raged between .67 and .83. In addition, 21.4% of the sample (N=54) reported having personally encountered someone they met via the Internet. An independent t-test to compare scores on the above five factors showed that these participants were more interested in meeting people via the Internet, had lower risk awareness and negative image towards forming a relationship via the Internet, and found this method less useful than participants who had not done so previously.



Author Information
Takuma Nishimura, University of Tsukuba, Japan
Tatsuya Murakami, University of Tsukuba, Japan 
Kei Fuji, University of Tsukuba, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: ACP2014
Stream: Psychology

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