Dependency on media. Development and validation of SalCo: The Compulsion and Saliencee Based Media Affinity Scale

Date of Completion

January 2006


Psychology, Clinical|Psychology, Psychometrics|Mass Communications




This study presents the reasoning for the introduction of a new measure of media affinity, based on a dual factor structure, with distinct compulsion and salience components. Using theoretical propositions from the incentive-sensitization theory of addiction (IST) and the uses and dependency theory of mass communication, the author investigates the dependence on Internet and TV among undergraduate college students. The author initially hypothesized following IST that the television affinity scale has two dimensions, compulsion-wanting and hedonism-liking, but the liking factor turned out to be in fact mere salience, both for television and the Internet. It was found that compulsion is responsible for the onset of addictive uses of both television and Internet, more so than the salience dimension. Compulsion predicted TV and Internet addiction, along with strength of habit and instrumental motives for use, but neither salience nor hours of daily use of the medium predicted addiction. A strong causal influence from daily use of TV and Internet to the strength of habit of usage of both media was found, but no reversed influence of habit on daily usage. Habit and compulsion completely mediate the impact of daily use on addiction to both TV and Internet. The author recommends compulsion to be used as a screener of possible addictive tendencies and proposes a habit scrambling technique and a habit replacement therapy for treating problematic uses of television and the Internet.^