An Update on Survey Measures of Web-Oriented Digital Literacy

Authors: Eszter Hargittai

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Citation: Hargittai, E. (2009). An Update on Survey Measures of Web-Oriented Digital Literacy. Social Science Computer Review. 27(1):130-137.


This article presents a test of a recently developed method for studying people's digital literacy. Self-reported instruments pose a risk of misreporting by respondents. Participants in the study are presented with items that are used to construct a previously established digital literacy measure, interspersed with strategically developed bogus items, to test how the latter measure up against the former. The bogus terms score the least in comparison with other items suggesting that the majority of people do not make up their responses to these questions, thereby adding support to the utility of the formerly proposed instrument. Results also show a considerable discrepancy between familiarity of older Internet-related terms and newer web-based concepts offering a more nuanced instrument for studies of users' digital literacy.


  • Proxy Measures of Digital Literacy
  • Use of Bogus Items to Test the Instrument
  • Data and Methods
  • Conclusion

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