The future is not something we travel to; it’s something we build.
The impact of technology is not only studied within psychology. Both sociology and cultural studies provide interesting analyses of the impact of technology. This chapter will provide an insight into the broader issues associated with the technophobia topic. The remit of this book only allows for brief coverage to some interesting ideas. The purpose of this chapter is not to provide a comprehensive analysis of additional perspectives, but to contextualize the psychological perspective taken thus far.
To date this book has emphasized the psychological research associated with technophobia. This in itself can be perceived to be problematic. For example, Bauer (personal communication) has argued that the conception of computer resistance as a pathological disorder of the individual denies the validity of resistance. As such, the focus on the individual taken by psychology is fundamentally flawed. Whilst this is undoubtedly true in a number of cases (see Coovert and Goldstein, 1980, in chapter 3, using positive attitudes as selection criteria), the vast majority of the research reported in this book has emphasized the social processes involved in technophobia. Bem’s research in chapter 2, for example, places the aetiology of an individual’s technophobia in the expectations of significant others. Additionally, chapter 5 highlighted the acknowledgement of the usefulness of resistance in the design processes. The psychological study of technophobia does not necessitate the pathologizing of the individual nor diminishing the validity of resistance. This is a sentiment