Consumer Behavior

Jacquelyn Warwick (Marketing)

Consumer Behavior in Social Mediums: A Study of the Impact of Social Networking Sites and Massively Multiplayer Role Playing Games on College Students’ Academic and Social Lives

This study will examine the impact of social mediums and online games on college student’s social and academic lives assessing significance and consequences of use. The question: Is there a systematic relationship between different levels of Social Network Sites (SNSs) and Massively Multiplayer Online Role-playing Games (MMORPGs) use intensity and other aspects of users’ daily lives such as academic performance and social interactions?  An SNS typology: Dabblers, Devotees, Samplers, and Omnivores, which was developed by Hargittai and Hsieh will be used to better determine the student’s usage against academic performance and social interaction. This study will be extending the use of the SNS typology to include MMORG and will assess whether students who mainly engage in low interactive social medium activities, such as playing games on an SNS or collecting flair/accessories on an MMORPG, see a difference (more negative consequences) in relation to their academic and social lives than students who engage in higher level social interactive activities on social mediums such as chatting or sending private messages. The focus on social interactions on these sites is relevant given that communicating with others is a major type of activity in which people engage on SNSs and MMORPGs and thus accounts for time that could be spent in other ways. Frequent users of social medium and role-playing game sites may face more unintended consequences than occasional users, so this research will address both hours spent on the various sites and the number of sites utilized.

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