Technophobia: The Psychological Impact of Information Technology

By Mark J. Brosnan | Go to book overview

Chapter 5

Psychological models of technophobia

Can technophobia be explained?

Change the people or redesign the computers

(Kelley and Charness, 1995)


INTRODUCTION

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

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Technophobia: The Psychological Impact of Information Technology
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Acknowledgements x
  • Author’s Note xi
  • Prologue xii
  • Introduction 1
  • Chapter 1 - Technophobia 10
  • Chapter 2 - Technophobia and Gender 37
  • Chapter 3 - Technophobia and Self Efficacy 60
  • Chapter 4 - Technophobia and Cognitive Style/ Spatial Ability 79
  • Chapter 5 - Psychological Models of Technophobia 102
  • Chapter 6 - Technophobia in Education 123
  • Chapter 7 - Technophobia in Management 136
  • Chapter 8 - Technophobia—a Broader Perspective 147
  • Chapter 9 - Technophobia Reduction Programme 158
  • Conclusions 169
  • Epilogue 174
  • References 175
  • Index 208
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