Ageing Technologically: Exploring the Motivating Operations of Technology Use by Older Adults


Wilson C (2014) Ageing Technologically: Exploring the Motivating Operations of Technology Use by Older Adults. Doctor of Philosophy. Durham University.

Statistics from the 2011 UK Census revealed that one sixth of the population were over the age of 65, which is the highest recorded ratio in any census history. Although there are discrepancies in the physical, mental and social wellbeing of the older adult population, huge strains have been placed upon the National Health Service, care system and subject population. Previous scholarship has revealed that technology use in various formats can reduce these pressures, however, published work on older adults and technology often focusses on attitudes and intentions rather than motivations of actual use.  This thesis addresses this gap in the literature by examining the Motivating Operations (MOs) on post-purchase technology use of older adults. By adopting a radical behaviourist perspective, the present research attempts to introduce the Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) term, Motivating Operation, to consumer behaviour by incorporating the proposed MOs into the already established Behavioural Perspective Model (BPM). This approach encourages the measurement of actual technology use as an operant behaviour alongside the MOs, as independent variables, impacting upon the rate-of-response. Consequently, a longitudinal quantitative and qualitative empirical strategy has been devised to produce a rich and complex set of data to explain older adult technology use. Overall, by using principles of behaviourism to interpret the technology use of older adults within a post-purchase environment, this thesis intends to break the dominant trend within technology acceptance and adoption literature of relying on either the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) or Diffusion of Innovation (DIT) to explain behaviours related to technology use. Alternatively, it produces an imaginative but logical analysis of the subject behaviour, which is not in contention with previous models but intends to enhance and expand the consumer behaviour, technology acceptance and adoption literature.

Copyright Statement: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author

InstitutionDurham University
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Qualification levelDoctoral
Publication date31/12/2014