Using Prospect Theory to Explore the Digital Divide

Using Prospect Theory to Explore the Digital Divide

Porche Millington (North Carolina A&T State University, USA) and Lemuria D. Carter (North Carolina A&T State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2668-3.ch004
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Abstract

The growing popularity of Internet-based technology in both the public and private sector has led to a disparity known as the digital divide. The digital divide is described as the gap between those who have access to the Internet and other Internet-based technologies and those who do not (Wattal, Hong, Mandviwalla, & Jain, 2011). J. van Dijk (1999) outlines the digital divide as four types of access barriers: material, psychological, skills, and usage. This chapter reviews the four types of access divides and uses prospect theory as a means to highlight the impact of computer anxiety and computer self-efficacy on psychological access. Suggestions for future research are provided.
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Background Literature

The definition of the digital divide varies. According to Gunkel (2003) the term digital divide is “deeply ambiguous.” The most common definition of the digital divide is “the gap between people with effective access to digital Information and Communications Technology (ICT), and those with very limited to no access to ICT” (Wattal, et al., 2011, p. 3). Hargittai (2003) labels those with effective access to ICT as the “haves” and those with limited to no access to ICT as the “have-nots.”

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