Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Arts

Major

Communication

Date of Defense

11-20-2014

Graduate Advisor

Alice Hall, PhD

Committee

Alice Hall, PhD

Amber Reinhart, PhD

Yan Tian, PhD

Abstract

This study applies the uses and gratifications theory (UGT) to discover how people are motivated to use YouTube, an example of Internet based technologies, similarly and differently to watch traditional broadcast television. The new features such as commenting, liking and uploading that YouTube offers can be seen as new affordances that might offer ne gratifications to users, which were not found salient to television viewing. A convenience sample of 127 students was recruited to participate in an online survey that included measures of traditional media motives (Rubin, 1983) as well as new media motives adapted from Sundar and Limperos (2013). The study found that participants were motived to use YouTube for passing time/habit and entertainment, which were similar to their motives for watching traditional broadcast television. The scale on new media motives did not provide conceptually coherent motives relevant to either media. Paired-sample t-tests were performed, which revealed some differences in specific items about new motives across the two media outlets.

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