Technophobia: The Psychological Impact of Information Technology

By Mark J. Brosnan | Go to book overview
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Chapter 3

Technophobia and self efficacy

Is technophobia indicative of a lack of confidence?

The process of efficacious cognitive control is summed up well in the Chinese proverb ‘You cannot prevent the birds of worry and care from flying over your head. But you can stop them from building a nest in your head’.

(Bandura, 1988:89)


The previous chapter concluded by drawing links between cognitivedevelopmental theory (CDT) and social learning theory (SLT). This chapter will overview how the two theories can be combined to account for gender stereotyping in children. Thus far, computing has been found to be a masculinized activity and consequently undesirable for feminine sex-types who are motivated to avoid (or minimize) their computer experience and report being computer anxious. Anxiety, in turn, debilitates performance and reduces expectations of success. This chapter will outline the SLT concepts of self efficacy and locus of control and their contribution to technophobia will be discussed. SLT has been applied to technophobia by Meier (1985) providing, he argues, an appropriate framework to discuss technophobia, which consequently is the focus of this chapter.

Russon et al. (1994) argue that much of the research discussed in the first chapter concerning cognitions, attitudes/anxieties, expectations and behaviour either implicitly or explicitly contain a social learning perspective. The authors state:

a decrease in anxiety about computers is expected to influence computer related behaviour by decreasing the likelihood of avoidance and increasing that of future use. Likewise, computer


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Technophobia: The Psychological Impact of Information Technology


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