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Technological metaworlds in travel

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Abstract

This study offers a theoretical extension of previous work on physical metaworlds by using an interpretive methodology to investigate technological metaworlds in travel. While physical and technological metaworlds initially seem to share some core characteristics, a deeper dive into the data reveals important differences. Specifically, concepts related to the cognitive dissonance of technological metaworlds consistently emerged in the data collection and analysis, suggesting more adverse psychological impacts relative to the physical variety previously articulated in the literature. How and why this occurs is discussed through the delineation of a core conceptual category named Cognitive Dissonance of Technological Metaworlds and three associated sub-categories: Cognitive Dissonance of Technology as Tool, Cognitive Dissonance of Technology as Safe Haven, and Cognitive Dissonance of Technology as Placeless Space. These findings extend existing theory in this area while also illuminating future inquiry on issues related to the psychological impacts of technology use in travel. Destination managers may use these findings in conjunction with choice architecture techniques to help travelers make experience-optimizing decisions about technology use.

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Correspondence to T. S. Stumpf.

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Stumpf, T.S., Califf, C.B. & Frye, J.J. Technological metaworlds in travel. Inf Technol Tourism (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40558-020-00166-2

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Keywords

  • Grounded theory
  • Meta-spatiality
  • Metaworlds
  • Sociomateriality
  • Technology
  • Travel