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Internet apprehensiveness: An examination of on‐line information seeking and purchasing behavior

Alex M. Susskind (School of Hotel Administration, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA)
Michael A. Stefanone (Department of Communication, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York, USA)

Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology

ISSN: 1757-9880

Article publication date: 12 March 2010




A model of the relationships between individuals' perceptions of internet use and internet usage behaviors is presented and tested. The purpose of this paper is to propose that a lack of perceived responsiveness to on‐line communication is positively related to individuals' general resistance to use the internet as a communication information exchange medium, termed general internet apprehensiveness (GIA). Perceptions of GIA are negatively associated with on‐line information‐seeking behavior, and positively associated with individuals' resistance to or fear of using the internet for on‐line retail transactions, termed transactional internet apprehensiveness (TIA).


College‐aged students reported their attitudes about on‐line information seeking, on‐line purchasing, and their on‐line information seeking and purchasing behaviors. The model presented is tested with path analysis to assess the variables' interrelationships.


Ultimately, lack of responsiveness is positively related to GIA, GIA is negatively related to information‐seeking behavior, and TIA is negatively related to consumers' on‐line purchasing of goods and services.

Research limitations/implications

The student sample used in this study prevents us from making broad‐based generalizations. While students represent a large base of internet users and have been presented as a viable population to study in investigations for both academic audiences and marketing practitioners, future research will continue to benefit from more diverse samples of internet users.

Practical implications

This study offers hospitality professionals a better understanding of the elements that inhibit or encourage on‐line information seeking and purchasing behaviors.


This paper further defines the socio‐demographic factors that inhibit consumers from using the internet as both an information‐sharing tool and purchasing medium.



Susskind, A.M. and Stefanone, M.A. (2010), "Internet apprehensiveness: An examination of on‐line information seeking and purchasing behavior", Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology, Vol. 1 No. 1, pp. 5-29.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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