Development and Test of a Theory of Technological Learning and Usage

Richard P. Bagozzi, Fre, D.D. Davis, Paul R. Warshaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

473 Scopus citations


Beliefs, attitudes, and intentions are important factors in the adoption of computer technologies. While contemporary representations have focusE, d on explaining the act of using computers, the role of learning to use the computer neE, ds to be better understood within the overall adoption process. Inadequate learning can curtail the adoption and use of a potentially productive system. We introduce a new theoretical model, the theory of trying, in which computer learning is conceptualizE, d as a goal determinE, d by three attitude components: attitude toward success, attitude toward failure, and attitude toward the process of goal pursuit. Intentions to try and actual trying are the theoretical mechanisms linking these goal-directE, d attitudes to goal attainment. An empirical study is conductE, d to ascertain the construct validity and utility of the new theory within the context of the adoption of a word processing package. Specifically, we examine convergent validity, internal consistency reliability, stability, discriminant validity, criterion relatE, d validity, prE, dictive validity, and nomological validity in a longitudinal field study of 107 users of the program. The new theory is comparE, d to two models: the theory of reasonE, d action from the field of social psychology and the technology acceptance model, recently introducE, d in the management literature. Overall, the findings stress the importance of scrutinizing the goals of decision makers and their psychological reactions to these goals in the prE, diction of the adoption of computers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)659-686
Number of pages28
JournalHuman Relations
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1992


  • adoption of technology
  • attitudes
  • construct validity
  • trying


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