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Title: Making friends on ICQ: a comparison of high and low users
Authors: Yuen, Gloria Sin Nga
Department: Department of Applied Social Studies
Discipline: Social Psychology
Issue Date: 2000
Supervisor: Dr. Cheng Sheung Tak
Subjects: ICQ users
Social support
Perception of intimacy with ICQ partner
Abstract: Objectives: This study investigated the relationships of ICQ usage with introversion-extroversion, loneliness, social support, and perception of intimacy with ICQ partner. Gender differences were also examined among these factors. Methods: The participants were 120 Hong Kong tertiary undergraduate students. They completed questionnaires that assess the level of introversion-extraversion, loneliness, social support, intimacy, ICQ usage, and demographic information. Then, they were categorized into high (n=35) and low (n=85) users of ICQ. Results: The personality dimension of introversion-extroversion and level of loneliness were found to be unrelated to ICQ usage. Nevertheless, a positive relationship between ICQ usage and perception of intimacy with ICQ partner was substantiated. Moreover, an interaction effect was found between ICQ usage and participants’ gender on social support received. That is, gender differences were found on perceived emotional support and cognitive guidance with varying ICQ usage. Contrary to previous studies, no gender difference was found among the ICQ users with respect to the level of introversion-extroversion, loneliness, social support, and perception of intimacy with ICQ partner. Discussion: As the participants in the present study are not required to report their gender identity on ICQ, the results might be complicated by the possibility of gender switching. It is possible that the users pretended to behave like their opposite sex and therefore be treated differently by their ICQ partners. The effect of gender switching on maintaining relationships on ICQ also deserves attention in the future.
Appears in Collections:Applied Social Sciences - Postgraduate Diploma Papers - Psychology

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