Computer anxiety, computer experience and self-efficacy

Year: 1994

Author: Joncour, Nicole S., Sinclair, Ken E., Bailey, Michael

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The rapid development of technology over recent years and, in particular, the advent and proliferation of computers, has had a tremendous impact on people's lives. As a consequence, concern has arisen about factors which may operate to impede the use of computers, particularly computer anxiety. Computer anxiety is believed to decrease with computer experience; however, literature regarding this area has revealed inconsistent results, with some studies indicating that anxiety increased with experience.

In the study to be reported, the effects of a compulsory introductory computer course on first-year education students were assessed. One hundred and forty-one first-year students completed the Computer Anxiety Rating Scale, a Computer Statements Scale and the Computer Self-Efficacy Scale, at the beginning of the computer course and at the completion of this course. In addition, the study examined other possible correlates of computer anxiety including gender, prior computer experience and computer ownership. It was hypothesised that at the conclusion of the course subjects would display an increase in their computer efficacy and therefore a reduction in computer anxiety. It was further hypothesised that those subjects who own a computer and have prior experience would report lower levels of anxiety, as would males as compared to female students. Those subjects reporting high computer anxiety were expected to also report more negative, task irrelevant thoughts when using computers than low-anxious students. Results are interpreted with regard to Bandura's (1986, 1988) self- efficacy conception of anxiety.