“Who we are” shapes “what we do”: The impact of social identity on behavioral intentions towards robotic vehicle use

Abstract : Social psychology theory and research on attitudes and behavior has produced two highly successful models focused on explaining behavior and take up of new technology – the theory of planned behavior (TPB; Ajzen, 1991, 2011) and the technology acceptance model (TAM; Davis, 1989; Šumak et al., 2011). Key social variables are perceived ease of use, perceived usefulness, and positive attitudes towards the behavior. There is also a recognition that others in one’s social network will impact on behavioral intentions referred to as subjective norms. A separate body of research based on social identity and self-categorization theories (Tajfel & Turner, 1986; Turner et al., 1987) recognizes that one’s self-definition or identity can vary and can impact on attitudes and behavior. For example, it has been shown that adopting a particular social identity shapes the characteristics ascribed to the self, leading subsequently to differing intentions towards environmental issues (Rabinovich et al., 2012). In two studies (total N > 300), TPB, TAM and social identity were investigated. Social identity, “who we are”, was experimentally manipulated and its impact was assessed with respect to acceptability of a specific technological innovation, namely a robotic vehicle (VIPA for Véhicule Individuel et Public Autonome). In accordance with prior research, when French students were primed with the idea that French people are innovative (vs. traditional), they displayed greater intentions to use the VIPA, thus confirming the causal chain from social identity to intentions in a new context. Also, they expressed to a greater extent the car-use problem awareness, supporting that the degree to which people are concerned with environmental issues depends on the social identity-related standpoint they adopt. In addition, changes in social identity resulted in changes in almost all variables considered as explanatory of acceptability-related intentions by TPB and TAM. Social identity impacted on positive attitudes, perceived usefulness and subjective norms. This suggests that social identity and its associated content is central to understanding behavioral intentions. Through shaping social identity and definitions of “who we are”, it may be possible to directly affect “what we do”. The research points to need for further integration of social identity, TPB and TAM.
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Ladislav Motak, M. Izaute, Patrick Chambres, Emmanuelle Neuville, Michel Dhome, et al.. “Who we are” shapes “what we do”: The impact of social identity on behavioral intentions towards robotic vehicle use. 28th International Congress of Applied Psychology, Jul 2014, Paris, France. ⟨hal-01122315⟩



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