Trust but verify: caution in the application of Internet-based research

  • R. Michelle Green


Are Internet-based research results sufficiently trustworthy? In 314 adults ages 18-82, systematic personality trait differences existed among broadband users, dial-up users and Internet non-users. Greater levels of openness and extraversion correlated with greater degrees of home Internet access in black subjects and in those over 40. No systematic differences were observed in white subjects and in those under 40. Internet sampling’s ease cannot free researchers from the obligation to identify anomalous results and to pursue diverse samples using diverse methods, particularly critical as United States populations become more diverse and long-lived.

Author Biography

R. Michelle Green
R. Michelle Green received her Ph.D. in 2005 from Northwestern University?s Graduate School of Education and Social Policy. Her research program for the better part of a decade has examined why adults embrace or reject Information Technology (IT). She is particularly concerned with the ramifications of technological inequity on those who are poor, older, or non-white. Dr. Green works at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA, and is currently Visiting Faculty in Cognitive Science and Dean of Student Services.
How to Cite
Green, R. M. (1). Trust but verify: caution in the application of Internet-based research. First Monday, 12(11).