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Perceptions of online communication

Description

This 8-item scale measures adolescents’ perception of the breadth and depth of online communication. Following contemporary uses and effects theories, we believe that outcomes of online communication may strongly depend on how Internet users perceive online communication. We have measured different types of perceptions about online communication. Here, we focus on perceived breadth and depth of online communication. Perceived breadth of online communication refers to the extent to which respondents experience online communication to be more effective than offline communication in talking about a wide variety of topics. Perceived depth of online communication refers to the extent to which they experience online communication to be more effective than offline communication in self-disclosing intimate information. We have used different versions of this scale in different publications. The depth scale consists of 5 items (Cronbach alpha = .82) and the breadth scale of 4 items (alpha = .71).

Location

Peter, J., & Valkenburg, P. M. (2006). Individual differences in perceptions of Internet communication. European Journal of Communication, 21, 213-226.
Valkenburg, P.M., & Peter, J. (in press). Preadolescents’ and Adolescents’ online communication and their closeness to friends. Developmental Psychology, 43, 267-277.

Instruction

Below are some statements on the Internet. Could you indicate whether you agree or disagree with each of the following statements.
(Response options: agree entirely, agree, partly agree/partly disagree, disagree, entirely disagree)

On the Internet…
Perceptions of online breadth
...I talk more easily about different topics than during face-to-face encounters.
...I can more easily change topics than during face-to-face encounters.
...I hear more new information than in face-to-face encounters.
...I learn more about different topics than in face-to-face encounters.
Perceptions of online depth
...I talk more easily about secrets than in a face-to-face encounter.
...I talk more easily about my inner feelings than in a face-to-face encounter.
...I talk more easily about my concerns than in a face-to-face encounter.
...I talk more easily about being in love than in a face-to-face encounter.
...I talk more easily about sex than in a face-to-face encounter.