User Perceptions and Online News Research Paper

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A survey questionnaire design is employed to gather data to be used in the lazy user model test, with details on the sample population in which the questionnaire is to be administered. An innovative method to increase response rate is offered, followed by a data analysis plan. Finally, a conclusion and recommendation will complete this research project.

2. Literature Review

2.1 Information Technology and the Internet

The Information Age has changed our world in many different areas, from mankind's first steps into the space frontier, to the development of consumer items of convenience. Computers where once virtually inaccessible to the average person, and at that time were used only for information processing and logical calculations on a grand scale for large corporations and military endeavors. Indeed, only in the military did the information age really begin to develop, with the need for advanced military operations driving the information technology race.

As a result of the technology race, a rapid growth of online applications has emerged with the advent of the internet. Knowledge related to the Internet and World Wide Web are becoming crucial in delineating the parameters related to various applications; these include more advanced technologies such as Web interface, script languages, and Internet protocols. Web developers and it professionals may find it challenging to meet the demands of the rapidly evolving state of these technologies (Chau, Wong, Zhou, Qin, & Chen, 2009).

Many companies use information technology and the internet to help streamline the organizational workings and enhance revenues (Ozcelik, 2010). However there remain challenges in even bringing some groups of people and business up to speed. Business' and people who have no access to computers and related technologies, will not be able to meet the growing demands on the global business end, but also will not be able to meet personal user needs of information technology and internet related products and services. Many countries in the developing world struggle to provide adequate basic technology in certain areas, including phone lines to say nothing of satellite service or cell phone towers. Companies in such communities may be unable to compete effectively in the marketplace a lack of information technology infrastructure because of geographic or other limitations. This not only has a negative effect but also hinders a company's future growth; thereby reducing chances of employment opportunities for others as well as being a major inhibitor of progress in the information age of technological advancement (Choudrie, Grey, & Tsitsianis, 2010).

The Internet is a "network of networks," linking millions of computers and hence millions of users together from around the globe. This technological 'power' allows data to be transferred from one side of the world to the other in a literal matter of milliseconds, including E-mails, instant messaging, files sharing and web browsing and other forms of information sharing and dissemination, including the distribution of news both local and global (Vangorp & Middleton, 2009).

Before the internet, networked communications between computers was very limited; two computers could share small amounts of data via a central mainframe. As previously discussed, through massive government funding and through the irrepressible drive of corporate profit-making and international commerce, the need for information technology, better and faster computers, a language and venue to transfer and store information, has all led to an incredibly complex yet user-friendly simplistic applications that belie the truth of the new universe of technology that created it (Leiner, et al., 2009).

Information technology and the rise of the internet has been a convergence of online capability due to the advances in computer technology and networking, and technological opportunism driven by market forces and user demands (Bellaaj, 2010).

Accordingly, businesses seek to maximize organizational effectiveness through use of information technology, and users seek to maximize what users are always seeking to maximize: their own needs. Many models have arisen that attempt to address both ends of the spectrum, business needs and user needs. This report will not focus on addressing the business side of the equation. Rather, this project will look at the perspective of user needs through applying a model of technology acceptance: the lazy user model.

2.2 Technology Acceptance Models

2.2.1 the Lazy User Model

The lazy user model was presented by Collan in 2007 and was further developed by Collan and Tetard in 2007 (Collan & Tetard, 2007). This model was created to focus on the user, as the main arbiter of technology acceptance. Most of the existing dominant theories in acceptance research centered on the concept of technology. The lazy user model, on the other hand, places focus on the needs and characteristics of the user in the process of solution selection. Furthermore, the theory focuses on the effort demanded by the user (user effort), when electing a solution to a problem from a set of possible solutions. According to the lazy user model, a user is likely to choose the solution that demands the least effort (Collan and Tetard 2007; Collan and Tetard 2009). The lazy user model tells us that whether or not people accept a technology depends upon the principle of least effort. Otherwise known as the path of least resistance, we see this idea inherent in everyday physical phenomena like water running down a hill. The principle of least effort finds support also in results from medical research, which has found evidence for the human brain applying the law of least effort when solving a problem (Reichle, Carpenter, & Just, 2000). The tradeoff between one solution and another is known as 'switching cost', which tells us that the user examines this cost in terms of time, energy and money when considering how to use a new solution. The Lazy User Model is thus diagramed. (Collan & Tetard, 2009).

2.2.2 Theory of Reasoned Action

The theory of reasoned actions (TRA) was presented by Fishbein and Ajzen in 1975. The origins of the theory stem from the study of social psychology. This field attempts to explain why attitude may affect behavior. TRA seeks to explain and even forecast behavior based on the beliefs, attitudes and intentions of people. An individual's behavior is a result of these three factors, according to the theory of reasoned actions model. According to Fishbein and Ajzen (1975), behavior is driven by behavioral intention. A person's intentions stem from the attitude toward the behavior. Moreover, the behavior in addition to the subjective norms, are also affected. During one's lifetime, various beliefs can impact attitudes. Descriptive beliefs can be formed by personal experience, or gained by obtaining outside information. More generally, the more 'likable' an object/concept is, the better the feeling regarding it, and the more unlikeable an object is, the more negative the feeling is regarding it. As a consequence, an individual makes an assessment about the outcomes of various behaviors. Indeed, the person will evaluate the desirability of these outcomes and associate either a positive or negative association with it.

The TRA model. This model reports behavior as a consequence of intention to behave, which is prompted by the attitude toward the subjective norm. (Adapted from Ajzen and Fishbein, 1975).

2.2.3 Technology Acceptance Model

The technology acceptance model (TAM) is an adaptation of the theory of reasoned action, and it was developed to fit the field of information systems (Davis 1986). TAM substitutes attitude toward the behavior and subjective norm of the TRA with two technology acceptance measures; the perceived ease of use and the perceived usefulness. TAM focus on how perceived ease of use and perceived usefulness affect the intention to use and actual use of technology (Davis, Bagozzi and Warshaw 1989, p. 985). Perceived ease of use is described as "the degree to which an individual believes that using a particular system would be free of physical and mental effort" (Davis, 1986, p. 26).

Perceived ease of use has a causal and significant effect on the perceived usefulness, which is defined as "the degree to which an individual believes that using a particular?

system would enhance his or her job performance" (Davis, 1986, p. 26). This model presumes that a person will be free to act when they have formed the intention to actually act. However,

several factors, such as social or environmental limitations, may affect whether or not the individual will act (Bagozzi 2007).

TAM Model. (Davis et al., pg. 985) (TAM).

2.2.4 Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology

The unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT) was presented by Venkatesh et al. In 2003. The model seeks to explain the user intention to use an information system, as well as the accompanying behavior of users. Various competing theories have been combined in an attempt to produce a more expert model of user behavior (Venkatesh et al. 2003).

The UTAUT theory maintains that four constructs play a significant role as direct determinants of user acceptance and user behavior. These constructs are performance expectancy, effort expectancy, social influence and facilitating conditions. The first three constructs create a behavioral intent…[continue]

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