Change the people or redesign the computers
(Kelley and Charness, 1995)
Weil et al. (1990) discuss the aetiology of technophobia, as described in chapter 1. The authors noted that there were three ‘personality style’ differences between technophobes and a control group of computer users. These were persistence, problem-solving strategy and femininity. Persistence, as discussed in chapter 3, is directly related to self efficacy. Problem-solving strategy was discussed in chapter 4 with respect to cognitive style/spatial ability, and femininity in chapter 2 as a facet of psychological gender.
Technophobia is undoubtedly a multi-faceted experience with a broad range of causes and consequences. This book has attempted to draw together the vast array of research into this aversive psychological reaction to technology to highlight the parallel nature of much of the research. The preceding chapters point to the causes and consequences of technophobia (at least in part) falling within the framework below:
We live in a society that makes sex a salient variable for categorizing our social world. A range of attributes, behaviours, traits, (etc.), exist which are deemed by society to be more desirable for one of the two (primary) sex categories. In a large number of situations, computing has become identified as a behaviour in which it is more desirable for males than females to participate. In these situations computing has become masculinized. Perceiving computing as gender inappropriate enhances self perceptions of anxiety at the thought of using computers, which relates to little experience being