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Infidelity, also known as cheating, refers to a state in which one partner in an intimate relationship or marriage engages in a sexual or emotional connection with an individual other than their current spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend (American Psychological Association, 2020). Cheating is commonly done in secrecy between individuals in an extradyadic relationship. However, in the contemporary world, where many people are connected to the Internet and various social media platforms, cheating has undertaken a new dimension. A new form of cheating called online infidelity has emerged. Online infidelity is a type of cheating that is perpetuated through the internet and social media platforms.
American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) (2021) recently reported that more than 50% of United States households have an internet connection; thus, people have ready access to millions of sexually explicit sites and chat rooms. Additionally, the report revealed that up to 33% of internet users visit websites for sexual reasons. The majority of them are male, married, highly educated, and have children. About 17% of them end up being cybersex addicts. Online fidelity is more harmful to marital relationships because it can be easily accessed, afforded, and one can hide his or her identity.
Cheating is linked to various reasons. First, infidelity has been linked to sexual satisfaction (González-Rivera et al., 2019). For most individuals, sexuality is a crucial aspect of any intimate relationship. It has been confirmed to be true across gender, age groups, and marital statuses (Heiman et al., 2011). In men, relationship satisfaction is associated with physical intimacy and sexual functioning, while in women, only the latter was linked to relationship satisfaction (Heiman et al., 2011). This factor is crucial in the stability of intimate relationships. For example, sexual satisfaction is a critical factor in divorce cases (Bahrami & Tavssoli, 2020).
Recently, Wanjiru et al. (2020) revealed that economic factors predict cheating among married people as the participants’ education level was negatively related to infidelity. This finding suggests that highly educated couples are less likely to cheat because they do not face any financial hardships. Additionally, Wanjiru et al. (2020) established a negative relationship between monthly income and cheating, suggesting that financial difficulties drive people to cheat. Poor communication between spouses is also a fundamental factor associated with infidelity.
The proposed study will investigate the influence of personality traits on infidelity. A personality trait refers to a relatively stable and enduring innate attribute manifested through an individual’s habits, feelings, attitudes, and behaviors. The five fundamental dimensions of personality and their relationship with infidelity will be investigated. The first dimension of personality is known as openness. People who are high in the openness personality trait are imaginative and insightful. They also have a wide range of interests, are creative and adventurous, have high curiosity, and are ready to learn new things. Conversely, low in openness individuals are less imaginative, do not like new things, and are resistant to change.
Recently, Bakhshayesh and Bagheri (2020) revealed that people with a history of cheating were highly likely to have higher scores in openness to experience personality traits. Conversely, Abd Laziz et al. (2020) established that people who have low scores in openness to experience personality are highly likely to engage in cheating because of their favorable attitudes toward infidelity. In a related study, openness to experience did not affect marital infidelity (Kalantari & Merart, 2019). These studies suggest mixed findings on the relationship between openness to experience and infidelity. Therefore, there is a need for new research to clarify this relationship. Moreover, none of these studies examined whether openness is linked to online infidelity. Thus, the proposed study will address this literature gap.
The second dimension of the big five personality traits is conscientiousness. An individual with this personality is highly organized, concerned about the impact of their behavior on others, thoughtful, and has reasonable impulse control. Apostolou (2019) reported that individuals who have a high level of conscientiousness are less likely to cheat. Similarly, Mahambrey (2020) established that conscientiousness is negatively correlated with infidelity. In support of these findings, Timmermans et al. (2018) showed that people who have a high level of conscientiousness are more likely to persevere in relationships and resist seduction, thus having lower motivation for cheating. However, van Zyl (2021) revealed that it would be inaccurate to conclude that conscientiousness is negatively associated with infidelity since most of its aspects were not linked to infidelity. Past studies reveal mixed findings regarding the relationship between conscientiousness and infidelity. Thus, there is a need for new research to clarify the association. Additionally, none of these studies examined whether conscientiousness is linked to online infidelity. Therefore, the proposed study will address this knowledge gap.
Another prominent five personality trait is extraversion. A person who is high in extraversion is excitable, sociable, talkative, assertive, and emotionally expressive. They are also outgoing and highly energized in social situations. Conversely, low extraversion individuals are reserved and have less energy in social situations. According to Altgelt et al. (2018), wives and husbands with high levels of extraversion are more likely to engage in cheating.
Similarly, Abd Laziz et al. (2020) revealed that people with high scores in extraversion personality traits are highly likely to cheat because of their positive attitudes toward infidelity. Overall, past studies have shown that high levels of extraversion are positively linked to cheating in marital relationships. However, none of these studies examined whether extraversion is linked to online infidelity. Therefore, the proposed research will address this research gap.
The fourth big five personality style is agreeableness. People with a high level of agreeableness assist those in need of help, are interested in making others happy, and are empathetic, caring, and highly interested in people. Conversely, individuals who are low in agreeableness manipulate others, insult others, have no interest in other people’s tribulations, do not care about other people’s feelings, and have little interest in others. Abd Laziz et al. (2020) revealed that people with low scores in agreeableness personality traits are highly likely to cheat because of their favorable attitudes toward infidelity. Similarly, Timmermans et al. (2018) revealed that in married Tinder users, a low score in agreeableness personality is linked to sexual Tinder motive. Overall, past studies have shown that low levels of agreeableness are highly related to cheating in marital relationships. However, a knowledge gap exists regarding the impact of agreeableness on online fidelity.
The fifth big five personality style is neuroticism. People with high scores in neuroticism are stressed and anxious, experience constant changes in mood, get angry quickly, and worry about many different things. Conversely, individuals who are low in neuroticism are very relaxed, do not worry, are rarely sad or depressed, and are emotionally stable. Altgelt et al. (2018) revealed that people with high neuroticism are highly likely to engage in infidelity regardless of marital satisfaction. Similarly, married Tinder users’ higher score in neuroticism traits is linked to sexual Tinder motives (Timmermans et al., 2018). Overall, studies have shown that high levels of neuroticism correlate to infidelity in marital relationships. However, a literature gap exists regarding the impact of this personality trait on online platforms.
The theoretical framework used in the proposed study is the interdependence theory, a branch of social exchange theory. The interdependence theory posits that human relationships are equated to an exchange of goods. People are motivated to enter intimate relationships because they expect certain rewards from their partners. Such rewards can either be social (e.g., companionship), emotional (e.g., intimacy and happiness), physical (e.g., protection), or mental, such as an improved sense of self. People also assess the perceived costs of the relationship they would like to enter, either by evaluating the tangible contributions (e.g., monetary support) they would offer or the missed opportunities (e.g., resigning from one’s job to take care of the children).
Personality traits of a partner can also be rewards or costs because they significantly impact relationship satisfaction (Schaffhauser et al., 2014). For example, a person is more likely to choose a conscientious partner because of the benefits associated with the personality. Sayehmiri et al. (2020) noted that a high level of conscientiousness is manifested through self-discipline, righteousness, and the ability to effectively address relationship problems, thus increasing the likelihood of attaining high marital satisfaction. Additionally, people with high levels of conscientiousness are more intimate and committed to their relationships. Because they show higher levels of intimacy, they are more likely to build successful relationships. Another reward associated with having a conscientious partner is that people with high conscientiousness avoid aggression and effectively control their impulses in intimate relationships (Amiri et al., 2011).
Conversely, high levels of neuroticism in a partner may be considered a cost as being around a person who always has negative emotions, dramatic changes in feelings, are stressed, sad, depressed, emotionally unstable, and anxious is detrimental to a relationship (Widiger & Oltmanns, 2017). Lately, there has been a shift in the focus of marriage from practical reasons to personal motivations, e.g., intimacy, emotional attachment, companionship, and intellectual compatibility (Finkel et al., 2015). These relationship goals need partners to have similar and compatible personalities, highlighting the crucial role of personal attributes in relationship satisfaction.
According to interdependence theory, commitment to a relationship is independently predicted by rewards accrued from the relationship, costs linked to the relationship, the degree to which the relationship meets one’s expectations, and the attractiveness of alternatives (Kurdek, 1995). Specifically, the overall value of one’s intimate relationship is influenced by the ratio of rewards to costs. Relationships with more rewards than costs are likely to be preferred by individuals. In agreement, Vowels and Mark (2020) revealed that people assess their relationships by trying to strike a balance between rewards and costs. High satisfaction in marital relationships is highly likely to be achieved if a person perceives the rewards as more than the costs (Vowels & Mark, 2020).
People may also compare the rewards and costs in their current relationships to probable partners (comparison of alternatives). If a substitute partner offers more rewards or has lower costs than the current partner, the person is more likely to be emotionally and physically attractive to the alternative partner. In this case, a person may terminate the current relationship before starting a new one. However, this may not happen as many factors hinder people from quitting unhappy relationships, such as social stigma and financial instability. Efforts to minimize the risks and optimize personal accomplishment may place a person in a moral dilemma, making infidelity the only viable choice. Individuals who are happy in their current relationships may also engage in adultery because they have high expectations in intimate relationships but find it challenging to get a partner who meets all the expectations (Finkel et al., 2015). In such instances, a person may be contented with what their current partner offers and fascinated by an alternative partner’s unique attributes that satisfy other needs.
Personality and Infidelity
Researchers have been interested in determining whether personality traits are associated with infidelity. In one such study, Altgelt et al. (2018) revealed that female partners who are high in extraversion (versus low) and males and females whose partners are high in extraversion or neuroticism (versus low) are highly likely to engage in adultery regardless of their marital satisfaction. Additionally, the study revealed that a male partner with high narcissism (versus low) is highly likely to commit adultery. However, it was not statistically significant after controlling for marital satisfaction. In a related study, Isma and Turnip (2019) investigated whether personality traits and marital satisfaction play a role in shaping attitudes toward infidelity. The participants were married and aged 22 to 40 years. The findings showed that the personality traits that significantly predicted infidelity include neuroticism and conscientiousness. Additionally, Isma and Turnip (2019) reported that marital satisfaction significantly predicts infidelity.
Some researchers have also sought to determine whether the dark triad of personality predicts infidelity. For instance, Alavi et al. (2018) reported that the two dark triad personality traits associated with cheating include psychopathy and Machiavellianism. However, narcissism did not predict infidelity (Alavi et al., 2018). In support of these findings, Brewer et al. (2020) revealed that the Dark Triad personality predicts the perceived quality of substitute partners. Specifically, Machiavellianism and narcissism predicted the perceived quality of alternate partners; thus, women who were high in these traits were highly likely to admit the availability of alternate relationships. Additionally, Sevi et al. (2020) revealed that Kantianism and psychopathy positively predict attitudes towards adultery, while only psychopathy significantly predicted engagement in infidelity behavior.
Josephs (2018) revealed that people with Machiavellian personalities see their partners’ gullibility as an opportunity for infidelity. When a partner is naïve, a Machiavellian individual sees a chance of getting away with adultery. Because of their cunning and clever nature, the Machiavellian individual believes that what the betrayed partner does not know would not hurt them. The likelihood of getting caught is minimal, given an affair’s essential sexual and emotional satisfaction. In a psychopathic personality, a person is willing to break the rule and lie to their partners despite knowing it is immoral and heartbreaking. Josephs (2018) noted that infidelity requires a person to be cold-hearted, which is an essential trait of a psychopathic individual.
Mahambrey (2020) investigated the Big Five personality traits of uninvolved partners. Additionally, the study sought to examine the quality of relationships and intimacy among married couples. This study revealed that conscientiousness negatively predicted infidelity in both unmarried and married couples. A conscientious person shows care, hard work, responsibility, and organization skills are valued in intimate relationships. Additionally, the researchers revealed that agreeableness positively predicted infidelity among married people. Mahambrey (2020) posited that people with agreeable partners become comfortable with their highly considerate and helpful spouses to the extent that they believe that if they are got cheating, they will be pardoned.
Personality And Online Infidelity
Technological advancements and the increasing adoption of social media across the globe have created “real” experiences on the Internet and made it possible for individuals to undertake various online relationships (Sahni & Jain, 2018). One example of relationships developed through social media and the Internet is intimate relationships. Additionally, Internet or online infidelity can arise if a married person uses the Internet or social media to develop other intimate and sexual relationships without the other partner’s knowledge. Therefore, Internet or online infidelity refers to extramarital affairs facilitated by social media or the Internet (Isanejad & Bagheri, 2018).
Online infidelity has been linked to various factors. Timmermans et al. (2018) reported that compared to non-Tinder users in serious relationships, married Tinder users are highly likely to have psychopathic and neuroticism traits and less likely to be conscientious and agreeableness personalities. For married Tinder users, a higher score in psychopathy and neuroticism traits and low scores in conscientiousness and agreeableness personality is linked to sexual Tinder motive. Additionally, married Tinder users who had offline meetings with other Tinder users were open to experience and extraversion personalities.
Personality and Marital Satisfaction
Personality is one of the critical predictors of marital satisfaction. Different types of personality traits have other influences on marital satisfaction. For example, a study conducted by Boyce et al. (2016) revealed that women with high levels of conscientiousness have higher marital satisfaction than less conscientious women. Additionally, high levels of introversion in women and extraversion in men lead to long-term marital satisfaction (Boyce et al., 2016).
In a related study, Sayehmiri et al. (2020) revealed the presence of a negative relationship between neuroticism and marital satisfaction. This implies that people with high levels of neuroticism are highly likely to show low marital satisfaction. However, the same study indicated a positive relationship between extraversion and marital satisfaction. This means that individuals with high levels of extraversion are highly likely to show high marital satisfaction. Similarly, Sayehmiri et al. (2020) established a positive relationship between extraversion and marital satisfaction. This implies that people with high levels of extraversion are highly likely to show high marital satisfaction. Lastly, both agreeableness and conscientiousness were found to be positively correlated with marital satisfaction (Sayehmiri et al., 2020).
Claxton et al. (2012) revealed that conscientiousness is a personality trait that is broadly linked with marital satisfaction among long-wed couples. Conversely, Webbo (2017) established no significant relationship between conscientiousness and marital satisfaction. Similarly, it was not significantly associated with marital satisfaction. However, agreeableness and openness were positively correlated with marital satisfaction (Webbo, 2017). This means that a person with high levels of agreeableness and openness is likelier to show high marital satisfaction. In support of these findings, Ojo (2017) established that agreeableness and openness were positively related to marital satisfaction. Additionally, Ojo (2017) found a positive relationship between extroversion and marital satisfaction and between neuroticism and marital satisfaction. All five personality traits accounted for a 9% variation in marital satisfaction. In the multiple regression model, only openness to experience and conscientiousness predicted marital satisfaction.
In contrast to Ojo’s (2017) study, Javanmard and Garegozlo (2013) established that the neuroticism personality trait is a powerful predictor of marital satisfaction and that the relationship between these variables is negative. Therefore, neuroticism leads to marital dissatisfaction. Similarly, Bulgan et al. (2018) established that neuroticism negatively predicted marital satisfaction. However, the association between the two variables was weak, as a unit increase in respondents’ neuroticism scores led to a 0.12 decrease in marital satisfaction. Additionally, Bulgan et al. (2018) agreeableness and conscientiousness were independently positively associated with marital satisfaction. Specifically, a unit increase in agreeableness and conscientiousness scores was associated with a 0.19 and 0.17 increase in marital satisfaction, respectively.
Personality and Divorce
Past studies have revealed that partners’ personality styles affect the likelihood of divorce. A study by Boertien and Mortelmans (2018) demonstrated that there are lower divorce rates among people with high openness to experience but more in people with low conscientiousness. Spikes and Mortelmans (2021) recently revealed that people with a high level of neuroticism, extraversion, and openness are more likely to divorce. In contrast, those who are high in conscientiousness have lower rates of divorce. The results showed that the social exchange theory effectively explains the predictive ability of the Big Five personality traits regarding marital instability (Spikic & Mortelmans, 2021).
There are gender differences in personality styles linked to divorce. Eysenck’s (2021) study that compared the personality traits of married individuals and divorcees showed that women divorcees were more likely to have high neuroticism and high psychoticism. In men, extraversion was linked to divorce. However, Yusuf and Oguntayo (2019) revealed that, individually, none of the five big personality traits significantly predicted proneness to divorce. However, the big five personality traits jointly explained 15% of the variance in divorce proneness (Yusuf & Oguntayo, 2019). In a related study, Keller and Allemand (2020) established that individuals with low scores in conscientiousness and those who are more extroverted are more likely to divorce. In men, being less open to experience is associated with an increased risk of divorce (Keller & Allemand, 2020).
Description of Research Questions
The questions that will be used in the proposed study will seek to determine whether there is a correlation between different personality traits and online infidelity. In these research questions, each of the personality traits will be considered the independent variable, while online infidelity is the dependent variable. The five personality traits include extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, openness, and neuroticism. Additionally, another set of questions will determine whether demographic variables (e.g., gender, age group, and marital status) and personality traits predict online fidelity. In this case, the independent variables include demographic variables and personality traits, while the dependent variable is online fidelity.
List of Research Questions
- What is the relationship between extraversion and online fidelity?
- What is the relationship between agreeableness and online fidelity?
- What is the relationship between conscientiousness and online fidelity?
- What is the relationship between openness and online fidelity?
- What is the relationship between neuroticism and online fidelity?
- Do demographic variables and personality traits predict online fidelity?
The above research questions help address the mixed findings between different personality traits and online infidelity. For example, past studies showed mixed findings on the relationship between openness to experience and infidelity. Additionally, there are mixed results regarding the relationship between extraversion or conscientiousness and infidelity. Next, even though past studies have consistently shown that low levels of agreeableness are highly related to cheating in marital relationships, there is a knowledge gap regarding the impact of agreeableness on online fidelity. Lastly, although past studies consistently revealed that high levels of neuroticism are highly correlated to infidelity in marital relationships, there is a literature gap about the effect of agreeableness on online fidelity. Therefore, these research questions will clarify the mixed findings and address the literature gaps.
- A higher score in the extraversion personality trait is significantly and positively correlated with online fidelity.
- A lower score in the agreeableness personality trait is significantly and positively correlated with online fidelity.
- A higher score in conscientiousness personality trait is significantly and positively correlated with online fidelity.
- A higher score in openness personality trait is significantly and positively correlated with online fidelity.
- A higher score in neuroticism personality trait is significantly and positively correlated with online fidelity.
- Do demographic variables and personality traits significantly predict online fidelity?
Explanation Related to Confirmation of Hypothesis
If the first hypothesis is confirmed, then it means that a person with a higher score in the extraversion personality trait is more likely to engage in online fidelity. In contrast, a person who is low in this personality trait is less likely to engage in online infidelity. Next, if the second hypothesis is confirmed, a person with a low level of agreeableness personality trait is highly likely to engage in online fidelity and vice versa. Third, if the third hypothesis is confirmed, a person with a high conscientiousness personality trait will likely be involved in online fidelity. Next, confirmation of the fourth hypothesis means that an individual with a high level of openness personality trait is more likely to commit online fidelity and vice versa. Fifth, confirmation of the fifth hypothesis means that an individual with a high level of neuroticism personality trait is more likely to be involved in online fidelity and vice versa. Lastly, confirmation of the sixth hypothesis implies that demographic variables and personality traits positively predict online fidelity.
Target Population and Sample
The target population will be married or divorced individuals aged 18 and 65. The participants will be enrolled in the study through the purposive sampling technique. This implies that participants with traits capable of addressing the research question will be enrolled in the study. Only participants currently using social media or any online platform to chat, aged 18-65 years, and married or divorced, will be requested to participate in the study. The exclusion criteria will be individuals under 18 years or above 65 years and not currently using social media or any other internet platform to chat.
The proposed study will use a correlation research design to investigate the relationship between personality traits and online infidelity. In this study, a researcher investigates whether there is a correlation between two numerically measured variables. This design is suitable since both personality traits and online infidelity are measured on a continuous scale. Using a correlation design, the researcher will understand the magnitude and direction of a relationship between personality traits and online cheating. This research design was chosen because even though it is expected that the relationship between personality traits and online fidelity is causal, it is unethical and impractical to manipulate personality.
Data Collection Instruments
NEO-FFI Personality Inventory (NEO-FFI)
Personality styles will be measured using the NEO-FFI scale, which consists of 60 statements that measure all five personality styles. Past empirical studies have shown that the NEO-FFI is a valid and reliable data collection instrument. For instance, in a study involving university students, Anisi (2012) revealed that Cronbach’s alpha coefficient values for neuroticism and conscientiousness subscales were .80 and .83, respectively. Similarly, extraversion and agreeableness subscales had acceptable internal consistency coefficients of .58 and .60, respectively. Additionally, the findings of convergent validity were between .47 and .68. All the statements are measured on a 5-point Likert scale (1 = Strongly Disagree, 5 =Strongly Agree).
Online Infidelity Scale
The Internet infidelity Questionnaire (IIQ) will assess participants’ internet infidelity behavior. The IQQ scale is 43 statements that assess each participant’s attitude toward online activities related to sex (Nooripour et al., 2017). The IIQ is comprised of three subscales— friendly activities, vigorous activities, and sexual activities. The first subscale consists of 22 items, including activities (Nooripour et al., 2017). Some examples of items on the friendly activities subscale include online conversations with unknown individuals, sending a private message to a familiar individual on the web, viewing another person’s profile on the web, and engaging in an intimate relationship with a familiar individual on the web.
The second subscale (vigorous activities) consists of 9 items (Nooripour et al., 2017). Some of the statements on this subscale include expressing love to a person on the web, engaging in a deep emotional connection with a familiar individual on the Internet, planning to meet a familiar person on the web, exposing personal information on the web to find someone else, sending intimate photos to someone familiar on the web, and sending emails daily about various issues familiar person on the web. The third subscale (sexual activities) consists of 12 statements (Nooripour et al., 2017). Examples include
- engaging in a relationship by webcam familiar person on the web,
- sharing naked photos with another person on the web,
- accessing pornographic sites, and
- participating in virtual sex with a familiar person on the web.
The IQ’s subscales have been empirically found to have high internal consistency coefficients. First, the friendly activities subscale has a Cronbach’s alpha coefficient of .95, the emotional activities subscale has an internal consistency coefficient of .89, and sexual activities have a Cronbach’s alpha coefficient of .90 (Nooripour et al., 2017). Overall, the IIQ scale has an internal consistency score of .91 (Nooripour et al., 2017). This scale has also been found to be a valid measure of online infidelity. The correlation between the subscales ranges from 0.619 to 0.645. Such a high correlation shows that the IIQ is a valid measure of online cheating.
Proposed Data Analysis
In the proposed study, both descriptive and inferential statistics will be conducted in SPSS. First, descriptive statistics will be performed to check how the participants are distributed by demographics, especially gender, age group, and marital status. Second, two types of inferential statistics will be conducted in SPSS— correlation and multiple regression analyses. To determine the relationship between each of the five personality traits and online infidelity, correlation analysis will be performed in SPSS. In this analysis, each of the personality traits will be considered the independent variable, while online infidelity is the dependent variable. Five correlation analyses will be conducted since the independent variable (personality) comprises five subtypes— extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, openness, and neuroticism. The analysis will be performed at a significance level of .05.
Correlation analysis will help the researcher understand the strength and direction of the relationship between each personality trait and online infidelity. In this analysis, a positive correlation coefficient indicates that an increase in scores of a specific personality trait leads to a rise in online fidelity and vice versa. Correlation analysis is suitable for measuring the relationship between five personality traits and online infidelity since the two variables are measured at the interval level.
Another statistical analysis that I will perform is multiple regression analysis. This statistical procedure analyses whether there is an association between a single outcome variable and several predictors. The main purpose of this statistical procedure is to use the predictors whose values are known to predict the value of the single outcome variable. Each independent variable value is weighed, the weights designating their relative contribution to the overall prediction. The independent variables include gender, age group, marital status, and personality traits, while the dependent variable is online infidelity.
Multiple regression analysis is appropriate for testing whether there is an association between these variables since there are more than two independent variables measured at both the categorical level (e.g., gender, age group, and marital status) and interval level (e.g., personality trait). Additionally, the dependent variable meets the basic assumption for the analysis since it is measured at the continuous level. In both of the analyses, the hypothesis will be disconfirmed if the p-value is less than or equal to the significance level (.05). However, the hypothesis will be confirmed if the p-value is more than the significance level (.05).
Before conducting both correlation and multiple regression analyses, the data will be checked to determine whether it meets the assumptions. For both types of statistical analysis, the data will be checked for significant outliers— extreme values in the data points. Correlation analysis is sensitive to outliers and significantly affects the impact on the line of best fit and the correlation coefficient. Therefore, outliers should be kept at a minimum. In SPSS, outliers will be checked using Tukey’s method, which yields a boxplot. Another assumption that will be checked is linearity. In both correlation and multiple regression analyses, there should be a linear relationship between the independent and the dependent variables. It will be checked using a scatterplot, where every independent variable is plotted against the dependent variable and visually inspecting the scatterplot for linearity. Next, the data will be checked for normality for both correlation and multiple regression analyses. The normality assumption will be checked using the Shapiro-Wilk test.
Moreover, the independence of observations assumption will be checked using the Durbin-Watson statistic before conducting multiple regression analysis. The independence of assumptions implies that no two observations in the dataset are related or influence each other. Next, data will be checked for homoscedasticity assumption (assumption of equal variances). This assumption will be checked using the scatterplot of residuals. Furthermore, the data will be checked for multicollinearity using variance inflation factor (VIF) values. In multiple regression analysis, each of the predictors should not be highly correlated because it makes it difficult to know which predictor contributes to the variance explained in the outcome variable. Lastly, the data will be checked for normality of the distribution of residual errors using either normal P-P or normal Q-Q plots.
The questionnaires will be administered electronically via Qualtrics. The participants will be requested to complete the questionnaires in about 45 minutes after electronically signing an informed consent form showing their voluntariness to participate in the study. After completing the questionnaires, the data will be entered into SPSS, and data analyses will be conducted. In correlation and multiple regression analyses, the hypothesis will be disconfirmed if the p-value is less than the significance level (.05). However, the hypothesis will be confirmed if the p-value is more than the significance level (.05).
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