Internet and Personality

Computers in Human Behavior 18 (2002) 1–10 www.elsevier.com/locate/comphumbeh

Internet and personality
Y. Amichai-Hamburger*
Department of Psychology, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan 52900, Israel

Abstract The Internet is becoming increasingly in?uential in our daily lives. The author suggests that the personality of the net user is, for the most part, ignored by Internet designers who decide the future development of the Internet. The main reason for this is the heavy emphasis placed by designers on technological advancement to the detriment of user needs. The author argues that the only way to redress this balance is through a cooperative e?ort by Internet designers and psychologists working in the ?eld of personality. The article examines the potential contribution of each of these professions toward promoting a genuinely interactive Internet, fully committed to being user-friendly and promoting user well-being. # 2002 Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Internet; Personality

1. Introduction The purchase of Time Warner by the Internet Company America on Line (AOL), on 10 January 2000, sent shock waves throughout the world economy. The fact that an Internet supplier had acquired one of the largest international communication companies broke the paradigm held by many people of the Internet as a temporary ephemeral phenomenon. For those of us who use the Internet, it is none of these things; it is a way to complete daily tasks, gather information, and is also a source of entertainment. In a single day, we may check the stock exchange, choose a holiday destination, check out a hotel and order it along with ?ight tickets. We may also complete transactions at the bank and order our weekly supply of food to be delivered from the supermarket at our convenience. It is fair to argue that for the Internet user, the Internet is not, as is often believed, a replacement for the real world, but rather a part of it. The ability of the.