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Through a telephone survey of 204 residents from a northeastern state, participants' perceptions of the World Wide Web usage were investigated. In a path model, the relationships between perceptions and attitudes toward World Wide Web (WWW) use and manifest usage behaviors were tested. Through the analyses distinct differences between general communication‐related and commerce‐related apprehensiveness toward the WWW were found. Specifically the findings indicated that participants' general WWW apprehensiveness was notably related to the amount of time they spent online. Additionally, the findings indicated that general WWW apprehensiveness (WA) and the misuse of personal information were strongly related to participants' WWW purchasing apprehensiveness for commercial transactions, but the findings were inconsistent with the hypothesis that a need for interpersonal contact while shopping would also influence WWW purchasing apprehensiveness (WA‐P). The outcome variables of time and dollars spent online were both well predicted by both WA and WA‐P, with WA showing a strong negative influence upon time spent online, and WA‐P showing a moderate, negative influence on time spent online, and a stronger negative influence upon dollars spent online, supporting the model of WWW apprehensiveness presented and tested.


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© Wiley. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved. Final version published as: Susskind, A. M. (2006). Electronic commerce and world wide web apprehensiveness: An examination of consumers' perceptions of the world wide web. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 9(3). doi: 10.1111/j.1083-6101.2004.tb00287.x