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I’ll respond later

The influence of trait vigilance and cognitive avoidance on coping strategies within instant messaging responding behavior under stress

In a world where we are permanently online and permanently connected, smartphones have become an indispensable medium. Yet, the resulting role they play in our lives is an ambivalent one.

The goal of my thesis is to broaden the understanding of influences on coping behavior within instant messaging responding in stressful situations. Therefore, the personality traits vigilance and cognitive avoidance are focused on.

Following Krohne’s Model of Coping Modes, four hypotheses are put forward, differentiating four coping modes to be identifiable in instant messaging stress situations.

To operationalize these hypotheses, a quantitative online survey (N = 217) was conducted. It includes the Mainz Coping Inventory (MCI-E, Krohne & Egloff, 1998), as well as a Mainz Coping Inventory instant messaging subtest (MCI-IM) that was developed, using three different overload perspectives of instant messaging as a stressor.

Various statistical analyses reveal a lack of construct validity of the MCI-IM, an insignificant correlation between the MCI-E and the MCI-IM, and a lack of identifying high-anxious copers. Thus, the rejection of the hypotheses proposed in this study is inevitable.

Though the results of the quantitative online survey do not suggest a direct influence of trait vigilance and cognitive avoidance on instant messaging responding behavior, the study provides a number of different starting-points for future research.