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Title:The emotional responses of older adults to new technology
Author(s):Kim, Kyung O
Director of Research:Chodzko-Zajko, Wojtek
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Chodzko-Zajko, Wojtek
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Graber, Kim C.; Schwingel, Andiara; McDonagh, Deana C.
Department / Program:Kinesiology & Community Health
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Older adults
Technology adoption
Abstract:The world population is aging and the population aged 65 and over is one of the fastest growing age groups. As the number of older adults increases and life expectancy gets longer there is a growing interest in the impact of healthy lifestyles on quality of life in the older population. Among diverse types of healthy lifestyles, physical activity is one of the most popular and effective tools to improve quality of life in older adults. Unfortunately, only a small proportion of older adults participate in regular physical activity. Consequently, many researchers have attempted to motivate members of this population group to become more physically active. There is reason to believe that new technology holds significant promise for improving the health and quality of life of older adults. However, older adults are frequently reluctant to adopt new technologies which have the potential to improve their quality of life. The present study attempted to understand the perceptions and emotions of older adults when they encounter new forms of technology. Specifically, this study explored the perceptual and emotional reactions of older adults to a number of commercially available technology products. To achieve the above goals, in-depth interviews and Product Personality Profiling techniques were used to assess key elements of innovation theory including relative advantage, compatibility, complexity, trialability, observability, and riskiness. In addition two elements of the Technology Acceptance Model, perceived usefulness and ease of use were also examined. Three major themes emerged from the analysis process: (1) Simple is Better, (2) Complex Works for Some, and (3) I Do Not Need This. Why Should I Care? In this study, several diverse elements, including lack of help or support, physical condition with age, lack of opportunity, feelings of frustration and anxiety, feelings of fear, lack of compatibility with lifestyle, lack of benefits, lack of needs, lack of experience or negative previous experience, hard to learn and cost, were shown to impact older adults’ decision-making with regard to technology adoption.
Issue Date:2013-02-03
Rights Information:Copyright 2012 Kyung O Kim
Date Available in IDEALS:2013-02-03
Date Deposited:2012-12

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