Technophobia: The Psychological Impact of Information Technology

By Mark J. Brosnan | Go to book overview

Chapter 9

Technophobia reduction programme

Could this be the way forward?

INTRODUCTION

The two chapters focusing upon the educational and occupational settings have both highlighted the need to actively address the issue of technophobia. If you perceive your technophobia to be problematic, this chapter offers some advice on what to do about it. If, however, you perceive avoidance of technology as a valid strategy of resistance (see chapter 8), this chapter does not mean to suggest that this is an erroneous perception. Indeed, rationalizing the resistance to technology would be excluded from the definition of technophobia (see chapter 1). The technophobe is someone who perceives their fear of technology to be irrational. There are some factors that increase the probability of successful technophobia reduction.

Whilst courses that train in the use of specific packages may facilitate usage, they can do so without reducing anxiety. Researchers have found that whilst software tuition is preferable to programming tuition, anxiety levels are left unchanged in many participants (Leso and Peck, 1992). Computer courses can reduce the fear of failure, but typically this is not their focus. Self-tuition is not recommended either. Unexpected hitches with no available assistance can reinforce feelings of technophobia. This is not to suggest avoidance as a strategy as hands-on experience is essential. In a quasi-experimental design, Bohlin (1992) asked subjects to keep a diary of their feelings towards computers over an eight-week introductory computer course. He found that whilst feelings became less negative towards computers for those with hands-on experience, feelings actually became more negative towards computers for those who did not have hands-on experience. This concurs with the work of Arch and Cummins (1989, discussed in chapter 5) who report reduced com-

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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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