Abstract for: Panero, J., Lane, D. M., & Napier, H. A. (in press) The computer use scale: Four dimensions of how people use computers. Educational Computing Research.


An instrument to measure the various ways people use computers was developed and evaluated. Computers can be used as word processors, game machines, communication tools, accounting tools, and for a myriad of other applications. The Computer Use Scale (CUS) measures how people use computers across four dimensions: Enthusiasm, Entertainment, Efficiency, and Communication. These scales measure the extent to which individuals use computers as "cutting-edge" technology, as playthings, as tools to create better work in less time, or to communicate with others. The scale was found to be reliable and was able to detect differences among various classes of users. Applications of the scale to computer training, software design, and job placement are discussed.