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Computerphobia

Abstract

Five studies of over 450 university students presented a comprehensive picture of computer-phobia. Three research and clinically based self-report instruments were developed to measure three nearly independent dimensions of computerphobia-computer anxiety, computer attitudes, and computer cognitions and feelings. Results indicated that older students were more computer anxious, but did not have more negative attitudes, cognitions, or feelings, than did younger students. Women had more negative attitudes than did men. Feminine-identity students showed more anxiety and negative attitudes than did masculine-identity students, regardless of gender. White students had more anxiety and more positive attitudes than did nonwhite students. Computerphobia was related to other anxiety measures (mathematics, state, and trait), but was a separate construct. Experience with computer interaction did not reduce anxiety or improve attitudes. Finally, regardless of academic major, computer-anxious students showed less computer aptitude, literacy, and interest. Implications for treating computerphobia are discussed.

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Preparation of this article was supported in part by U.S. Department of Education Grant G008541203 to Larry D. Rosen. We gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Lorinda Camparo, Margaret Franco, Janice Kawaminami, Ethel Moore, Dee Pearson, Elvira Quesada, John Sarko, Eric Satow, Shawn Trammell, Glen White, and Patricia Williams in data collection and analysis.

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Rosen, L.D., Sears, D.C. & Weil, M.M. Computerphobia. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, & Computers 19, 167–179 (1987). https://doi.org/10.3758/BF03203781

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Keywords

  • Trait Anxiety
  • White Student
  • Business Student
  • Computer Attitude
  • Mathematics Anxiety