CEC Theses and Dissertations

Title

A Study of Computer Aversion Factors And their Effect On An Older Adult Population's Computer Anxiety

Date of Award

1993

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Science

Department

Center for Computer-Based Learning

Advisor

Berry Centini

Committee Member

John Kingsburry

Committee Member

Jacques Levin

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between older adults and computer anxiety by identifying specific computer aversion factors and their influence on an older adult population's computer anxiety. The study was undertaken in the county of Palm Beach, Florida in the fall of 1992 and winter of 1993. The study collected and analyzed the responses to Meier's Computer Aversion Survey from 393 adults. Though it was determined that both populations exhibited traits of computer anxiety, the older adult population exhibited a higher level of anxiety on all three factors observed.

Older adults are not computer illiterate because they cannot or will not learn to use computers. The study determined that they are computer illiterate due in part to their lack of an appropriate outcome expectation for computer use. They do not think they can realize a usable outcome from using a computer system, therefore they do not attempt to use them. They have not been shown or convinced of what they could achieve through their use. Furthermore they will continue to miss the advantages of the computer revolution if they are not directly and specifically confronted with the benefits of computer systems. If they do not become computer literate society will have lost the knowledge that they could have provided if they had had the opportunity to meld their years of expertise with the capabilities of the computer revolution.

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