International Journal of Social Robotics

, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp 361-375

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Assessing Acceptance of Assistive Social Agent Technology by Older Adults: the Almere Model

  • Marcel HeerinkAffiliated withAmsterdam University of Applied Sciences Email author 
  • , Ben KröseAffiliated withUniversity of Amsterdam
  • , Vanessa EversAffiliated withUniversity of Amsterdam
  • , Bob WielingaAffiliated withUniversity of Amsterdam


This paper proposes a model of technology acceptance that is specifically developed to test the acceptance of assistive social agents by elderly users. The research in this paper develops and tests an adaptation and theoretical extension of the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) by explaining intent to use not only in terms of variables related to functional evaluation like perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use, but also variables that relate to social interaction. The new model was tested using controlled experiment and longitudinal data collected regarding three different social agents at elderly care facilities and at the homes of older adults. The model was strongly supported accounting for 59–79% of the variance in usage intentions and 49–59% of the variance in actual use. These findings contribute to our understanding of how elderly users accept assistive social agents.


Technology acceptance Assistive technology Elderly users Social robots Embodied agents