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Personality characteristics and the active user paradox : exploring the associations between geekism, utilitarianism and the Active User Paradox

Ebelhäuser, J. (2015) Personality characteristics and the active user paradox : exploring the associations between geekism, utilitarianism and the Active User Paradox.

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Abstract:In this study the associations between geekism, utilitarianism and the Active User Paradox were explored. The Active User Paradox implies that when users are confronted with new computer programs they apply irrational working strategies. If users learned how to use a program the appropriate way, they would save more time in the long term than the actual learning process would cost. In this research it was expected that geeks and people with a high utilitarian attitude could resist to the AUP. Due to the fact that geeks have a high need for cognition the association between this concept and the AUP was also investigated To test the hypotheses a mixed design experiment was conducted. For assessing the AUP scores, which refer to peoples challenge seeking- and explorative behaviour, the respondents were asked to solve several tasks within the computer programs Word and Gimp. In this part of the experiment the respondents were set into two conditions. In the first condition it was transparent for the respondents how many tasks they had to solve whereas it was intransparent for the respondents in the other condition. The aim of the conditions was to investigate whether people apply different strategies depending on the condition and their utilitarian attitude. For assessing the personality characteristics the Geekism Index, the Need for Cognition Scale and a Utilitarian Scale were used. In total 30 respondents took part in this study. To find associations between the personality traits and the AUP scores correlation analysis was used. To explore the expected interaction effect a multivariate general linear model analysis was conducted. The main finding of this research is the moderate to strong positive association between need for cognition and people’s resistance to the AUP. Further a positive association between geekism and the resistance to the AUP was found, but this is not of certainty. Additionally no main effect of utilitarianism and no interaction effect were found with certainty. This research provided evidence that the level of need for cognition influences a person’s resistance to the AUP. Further geekism and utilitarianism might also have some influence. yet it is not sure to which degree. Therefore future research should focus on investigating people’s resistance to the AUP according to their personality characteristics.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/68313
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