Older adults talk technology: Technology usage and attitudes

Tracy L. Mitzner, Julie B. Boron, Cara Bailey Fausset, Anne E. Adams, Neil Charness, Sara J. Czaja, Katinka Dijkstra, Arthur D. Fisk, Wendy A. Rogers, Joseph Sharit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Older adults (n = 113) participated in focus groups discussing their use of and attitudes about technology in the context of their home, work, and healthcare. Participants reported using a wide variety of technology items, particularly in their homes. Positive attitudes (i.e., likes) outnumbered negative attitudes (i.e., dislikes), suggesting that older adults perceive the benefits of technology use to outweigh the costs of such use. Positive attitudes were most frequently related to how the technology supported activities, enhanced convenience, and contained useful features. Negative attitudes were most frequently associated with technology creating inconveniences, unhelpful features, as well as security and reliability concerns. Given that older adults reported more positive than negative attitudes about the technologies they use, these results contradict stereotypes that older adults are afraid or unwilling to use technology. These findings also highlight the importance of perceived benefits of use and ease of use for models of technology acceptance. Emphasizing the benefits of technology in education and training programs may increase future technology adoption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1710-1721
Number of pages12
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Healthcare
  • Home
  • Older adults
  • Technology
  • Work

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Psychology(all)


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