Models and Theories in Human-Computer Interaction/Criticisms of TAM and Diffusion

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While both the Technology Acceptance Model and Diffusion Model have been proven as reliable throughout time (hundreds of studies over several decades), both have had their share of criticism.

Criticisms of the Technology Acceptance Model[edit]

Out of the two model, TAM has been more widely talked about, but also the recipient of greater criticism

User Reported Data[edit]

One of the major issues that is discussed is that the users report the data. While computer feedback is acceptable, humans have a way of distorting data in social situations. Or, might even be unaware of how they actually would adopt technology themselves.

Lack of Attitude Variables[edit]

Another Criticism is that two additional attitude variables are not taken into account (affective and cognitive). While affective is statistically insignificant, cognitive is. In addition to this it seems that in the case where the new tech is mandatory, the ease of use will affect the self reported results of the technology.

Criticisms of the Diffusion Model[edit]

The diffusion model popularized by Everett Rodgers in his book Diffusion of Innovations, has held up surprisingly well, however, despite it not having the same issues as the TAM, it still has been critiqued.

Concerns with Models evidence[edit]

In Rodgers book, while extensive, it is largely concerned with data from his agricultural methods and medical practices. This could help explain another criticism that the model is less useful to managers since technologies are not static. The S curve is perhaps not the best method since somewhere along the S curve a new technology might be introduced. In Rodgers isolated system however, this is not seen.

Concerns With Communication Process[edit]

The Other major concern is that the communication process is one way. The early adopters do not receive feedback from the late majority for example. While this might be true in many circumstances, other times the skeptics have a reason to be skeptical and force a change back to the old technology.