Predicting older adults’ perceptions about a computer system designed for seniors

Tracy L. Mitzner, Wendy A. Rogers, Arthur D. Fisk, Walter R. Boot, Neil Charness, Sara J. Czaja, Joseph Sharit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Although computer technology may be particularly useful for older adults (e.g., for communication and information access), they have been slower adopters than their younger counterparts. Perceptions about computers, such as perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use, can pose barriers to acceptance and universal access (Davis in MIS Q 13(3):319–340, 1989). Therefore, understanding the precursors to these perceptions for older adult non-computer users may provide insight into the reasons for their non-adoption. The authors examined the relationship between perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use of a computer interface designed for older users and demographic, technology experience, cognitive abilities, personality, and attitudinal variables in a sample of 300 non-computer-using adults between the ages 64 and 98, selected for being at high risk for social isolation. The strongest correlates of perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use were technology experience, personality dimensions of agreeableness and openness to experience, and attitudes. The emotional stability personality dimension was significantly correlated with perceived ease of use though not perceived usefulness. Hierarchical regression analysis revealed that attitudes (i.e., self-efficacy, comfort, and interest) remained predictive of perceptions of usefulness and ease of use when technology experience and personality variables were accounted for. Given that attitudes are more malleable than other variables, such as demographic and cognitive abilities, these findings highlight the potential to increase technology acceptance through positive experiences, appropriate training, and educational campaigns about the benefits of computers and other technologies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)271-280
Number of pages10
JournalUniversal Access in the Information Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016


  • Aging
  • Computers usefulness
  • Ease of use
  • Personality
  • Technology acceptance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Information Systems
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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