Publication Date

Fall 2019

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Frederick Grieve (Director), Sally Kuhlenschmidt, and Adam Lockwood

Degree Program

Department of Psychology

Degree Type

Master of Arts


Information and communication technologies (ICTs) are an important part of society today. Older adults often report ICTs as difficult to use and unhelpful; however, ICTs can support older adults’ ability to stay in touch with family and friends across long distances and help increase their quality of life. Unfortunately, training programs targeted at teaching older adults to use ICTs are often costly and time-consuming. The current study attempts to determine whether advertisements depicting older adults using ICTs can be used to increase self-efficacy without the use of training programs.

A within subjects experimental design was completed using an independent variable in which participants viewed two advertisements. Participants were randomly assigned to view an advertisement PowerPoint depicting younger adults using technology first, or randomly assigned to an advertisement PowerPoint depicting older adults using technology first. The dependent variable was a Technology Self-Efficacy Survey developed for the purposes of this study.

Results of a paired samples t-test indicated that participants did not rate their selfefficacy higher after viewing the PowerPoint with older adults depicted using technology, as compared to viewing the PowerPoint with younger adults depicted using technology. Although the results were not statistically significant, this research indicated that older adults generally rated their self-efficacy higher after viewing the PowerPoint with older adults versus the PowerPoint with younger adults. Future research could help determine whether advertisements could be used to increase technology self-efficacy in older adults.


Clinical Psychology | Mental and Social Health | Other Psychology