The development, validation, and application of a computer anxiety instrument
The main purpose of this study was to develop a computer anxiety instrument which could be used for research purposes to facilitate the understanding of the nature and characteristics of computer anxiety;Spielberger's Anxiety-as-Process theory was adopted to develop a theoretical model which included cognitive, affective, physiological, and behavioral domains;A 75-item paper-pencil, self-report instrument was developed and field tested with 1,454 students from high schools, 2-year community colleges, 4-year universities, and graduate schools. A 57-item short instrument with 0.95 reliability was finally produced;Six orthogonal factors, which accounted for 88.2% of the total variation, were extracted from the principal factor analysis at a minimum eigenvalue of 1.0. The extracted factors were: (1) Emotional feedback of personal interactions with a computer; (2) Computer's beneficial impacts toward an individual and society; (3) Difficulty in computer implementations; (4) Confidence and enjoyment with computers; (5) Computer's negative impacts toward an individual and society; and (6) Physiological reactions of personal interactions with a computer;Estimated factor scores were used to investigate the relationships between computer anxiety and personal characteristics or experiences. Results indicated that trait anxiety, computer courses taken, math performance, ownership of a personal computer, parents' and school board's attitude toward computers were correlated significantly with computer anxiety. Differences were found between males and females in confidence and enjoyment with computers. However, no difference in computer anxiety existed between high school students and non-high school students;Specifically, persons with high trait anxiety, taking fewer computer courses, not performing well in mathematics, not owning a personal computer, or being discouraged by parents or the school board about the importance of learning or using a computer tended to have a higher computer anxiety;It was also found that de-humanizing effects, costs of computer learning, unfamiliarity with computers, and time-consuming aspects of learning computers were the major reasons cited by non-computer users.