Master's Theses

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access

Date of Award

Spring 1989

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Robert Markley


The purpose of this research was to examine the relationship between computer anxiety and need for cognition. Computer anxiety has been defined as being concept specific and covering a wide variety of situations in which people interact with computers (Gilroy & Desai, 1986). Need for cognition has been defined as an individuals’ tendency to engage in and enjoy effortful cognitive activity (Cacioppo & Petty, 1982). This research utilized 184 subjects from Fort Hays State University. The subjects were administered the following paper-and pencil questionnaires: the Computer Anxiety Rating Scale, the attitudes Toward Computers Scale, the Computer Thoughts Survey, the Need For Cognition Scale, and the Personal construct Inventory. The questionnaires were administered to groups of 40-50 subjects at a time and took approximately 45 minutes to complete. The subjects were offered extra credit points form their respective classes for their participation. The results were analyzed through a variety of correlational analyses. It was found that subjects high in need for cognition experienced less computer anxiety. Subjects high in need for cognition also had more positive thoughts, feelings and attitudes towards computers. Higher levels of computer anxiety were found in subjects with less previous computer experience. The Personal construct Inventory Scales were found to correlate with the three computerphobia scales extending the validity of both measures.


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© 1989 Lucy Ann Anschutz

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