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The hidden power of emotions: How psychological factors influence skill development in smart technology adoption

Gerli, Paolo; Clement, Jessica; Esposito, Giovanni; Mora, Luca; Crutzen, Nathalie


Jessica Clement

Giovanni Esposito

Nathalie Crutzen


Working within the theoretical framework set by the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) literature, this paper clarifies how psychological factors (emotions, attitudes, beliefs, and information-seeking) affect skill development in the context of smart farming technologies. Interviews with multiple stakeholders from the agriculture sectors of three European countries (Belgium, Italy, and the United Kingdom) were used to develop a new conceptual model that attempts to generalize the complex interplay existing between skills and psychological factors in the context of smart technology adoption. This conceptualization provides a systematic view of the correlation between skills and psychological factors, complements the TAM by introducing the new concept of attitude to learning, and clarifies how the interplay between cognitive and emotional components influences the decisions to adopt and use smart technologies. In addition to these theoretical contributions, the paper emphasizes the importance of designing policy initiatives that tackle both cognitive and emotional barriers to the adoption of smart technologies, urging decision makers to move away from the simplistic assumption that increasing the digital skills of potential users automatically leads to growth in the adoption and implementation of smart technologies.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 22, 2022
Online Publication Date Apr 29, 2022
Publication Date 2022-07
Deposit Date May 5, 2022
Publicly Available Date May 5, 2022
Journal Technological Forecasting and Social Change
Print ISSN 0040-1625
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 180
Article Number 121721
Keywords Smart technology, Smart agriculture, Technology acceptance, Digital skills, Psychological factors, Attitude to learning
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