A Cognitive Perspective on Consumers’ Resistances to Smart Products

  • Stefan RaffEmail author
  • Daniel Wentzel
Conference paper
Part of the IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology book series (IFIPAICT, volume 533)


Despite their increasing relevance, research falls short to reveal the key factors hindering the adoption of smart technologies. Therefore, the aim of this exploratory study was to elicit consumers’ cognitive representations, i.e. mental models of different smart product concepts based on similarity and dissimilarity judgments, and to label the key dimensions based on which consumers mentally categorize them. This was expected to shed light on drivers of adoption resistance in order to help practitioners in product design and promotion. An innovative mix of two research methods was applied, namely quantitative-descriptive projective mapping and free associations. We found that consumers mentally balance released smart product concepts along with a rationally laden ‘useful-useless’ dimension and unreleased concepts along with an emotionally laden ‘intrusive-useful’ dimension. Additionally, this research showcases (1) method diversity in the field of IS and (2) how non-IS scholars who apply new approaches to an IS phenomenon contribute with new perspectives and thus enrich the field as a whole. This is work in progress and part of an overarching mixed-method agenda. The exploratory findings will be used to carve out further research directions for this growing field (e.g. the development of a construct measuring consumers’ perceived intrusion of smart products).


Smart product Internet of Things ICT Innovation resistance Adoption barrier Mental model Mixed-method research 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of MarketingTIME Research Area, RWTH Aachen UniversityAachenGermany

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