Interpersonal traits and the technology acceptance model: applying the interpersonal circumplex model as a nomological net for understanding user perceptions within human-to-computer interaction
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This study examines the effects that individual personality traits have on technology acceptance. Previous research on technology acceptance focuses primarily on exogenous variables such as trustor’s perceptions, attitudes, computer anxiety, positive or negative affect, age, and experience. This research seeks to improve our understanding of technology acceptance by examining user interpersonal traits as the underpinnings of user perceptions of technology and disposition to trust. A general theory of personality, the interpersonal circumplex (IPC) model, is used here as a framework to explain IT-users’ computer self-efficacy, computer anxiety, and perceptions about- and trust in technology. The interpersonal circumplex model is well established and provides a strong foundation for understanding interaction styles and interpersonal trust. Based on the interpersonal circumplex model, I develop predictions about how various personality types will interact with technology acceptance model (TAM) related variables: that is, I predict how individuals with different interpersonal traits will rate the following: their computer selfefficacy, computer anxiety, and perceptions of an information system’s performance; the system’s trustworthiness, ease of use, usefulness; as well as the user’s behavioral intention to use the system in the future. In general, I hypothesize that a computer user’s blend of the primary interpersonal dimensions of Control and Affiliation influences his or her responses to computer usage related questions. In this study, student-participants completed an on-line assessment of their interpersonal dispositions, using the Circumplex Scales of Interpersonal Values (CSIV; Locke, 2000); subsequently the studentparticipants reported their perceptions of- and trust in a computer-based learning system that they used as part of their class. In particular, this research suggests that the Communality (Affiliation) dimension of personality, as measured by the CSIV, indicates particular and significant correlations to user’s computer anxiety, perceived system performance, perceived usefulness (of the technology), and behavioral intent to use (IT) in the future. The Interpersonal Circumplex demonstrates improved acuity in detecting personality differences that may impact the way users respond to, perceive, and evaluate technology. As a new tool for information systems research, the IPC shows potential to provide further insight into IS theory by building a bridge between interpersonal theory and technology acceptance models.
Brown, Houghton Gregory (2008). Interpersonal traits and the technology acceptance model: applying the interpersonal circumplex model as a nomological net for understanding user perceptions within human-to-computer interaction. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from