According to Zima (2007), theory is a word that is usually used by scientists to denote an explanation of a thoroughly tested explanation of reality for most scientists to agree on it. Any given theory can is dynamic such that in can be changed every time a new information is discovered. In some cases individuals use the words theory and a working hypothesis interchangeably but the truth is, these two words are different since a working hypothesis is a theory that has not been tested fully, that is, a hypothesis is a theory that has not been proven. Theory is used in distinguishing ideas from practice. Personality theory is among psychological theories that are mostly tested by conducting appropriate researches. Personality theory is a theory that claims personality as plastic across places, time, situations, and moods (Engler, 2008). A variety of factors such as learning, and interpersonal interactions bring about changes in personality. Various researches were conducted on computer use with teenagers and adults to test for personality theory.
A quantitative research was conducted by Mallen, Day & Green (2003) on sixty-four undergraduate students who were involved in face-to-face versus online conversation. The students did not know one another previously, and this was to avoid bias. They formed 32 pairs which were assigned to a conversation randomly with a partner in either an online or a face to face setting, after which self-disclosure, the depth of processing, and emotional understanding, and personality theory were measured. It was found that the groups that were assigned a face-to-face conversation experienced an increased degree of self-disclosure and closeness with their partner. The face-to-face conversation was found to influence changes in personality within the students and hence the personality theory was tested.
Through a qualitative research on effects of networking on career success, Wolff and Moser (2009) reported the effects of computer networking, from the perspective of building, keeping, and making use of relationships, on career success due to personality development. Networking is seen as an individual level concept that focuses on individual behavior. It was found that networking is directly related to career advancement since different personalities were developed in due course of social interaction. Career success can be defined as positive work-related consequences or achievements that one has accumulated overtime as a result of his or her work experience due to developed personality (Darling, 2005).
A research was carried out by Whitlock, Powers and Eckenrode (2006) on internet and adolescent self-injury. Computer access and use has grown exponentially among teenagers in the past decade. The research has shown teenagers use the internet basically for social reasons. Internet usage makes social interaction easier and therefore acting as a powerful resource for teenagers desiring information regarding interpersonal relations and sexuality. These bring about change in personalities within the teenagers. Self injurious behavior is a variety of behaviors in which a person purposefully imposes harm to his body for reasons not socially sanctioned without an intention of killing oneself. Teenagers share various traits over the internet and some of these traits lead to injurious behaviors.