Investigating the Connection Between Awareness and Internet Non-Use

Investigating the Connection Between Awareness and Internet Non-Use

Carol Ting (University of Macau, Macau)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5201-7.ch068


Empirical studies on technology adoption usually are based on data from self-reported measures, and a large subset of this literature draws on the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) or Technology Acceptance Model (TAM). However, for non-Internet users, self-reported measures and these theoretical frameworks face important limitations: non-users often are under-informed about the technology and are unable to accurately explain their non-use. In addition, the measurement instruments in the TAM/TPB literature often are not applicable to non-users. Addressing these issues, this paper examines non-Internet users' awareness of the Internet's benefits and its impact on adoption intention. Focusing on the under-informed, this approach substitutes awareness for perceived usefulness (or affective attitude). Test results demonstrate good predictive power on non-Internet users' adoption intention, calling for caution when applying these commonly used analytical tools to study late-adopters of technology.
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Literature Review

This Section starts by briefly summarizing the literature of digital divide/inequalities to highlight the need for research on Internet adoption decision of non-users. The main focus then moves on to the two dominant theoretical paradigms of Internet adoption studies—the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM)/Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) and the diffusion theory. This Section also identifies the most relevant aspects of these theories and how they can be modified to explain Internet non-use.

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