The Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) by Davis (1989) is one of the models most widely used to explain the acceptance of technological innovations. Although TAM is used as such to explain technology acceptance across various innovations, general acceptance models have commonly been modified, extended and refined in different studies to better suit specific innovations or situations. In this guide, the factors relevant to the acceptance of technologies used for enhancing crisis or emergency communication among the public and within communities are theoretically based on TAM. (Haataja 2013.)
Technology acceptance is influence by the following factors.
- Usefulness: how can technology improve the sense of safety?
- Ease of use: (1) the ease of receiving, understanding and perceiving content presented via a technology; (2) the ease of finding and seeking information via a technology; and (3) the ease of sharing information and interacting via a technology; (based on Kaasinen 2005) (5) the ease with which taking these services can be taken into use; and (6) the amount of information presented via the service.
- Trust: (1) trust in giving and allowing personal information to be gathered e.g. positioning via a mobile device, (2) trust in the technology used, and (3) trust in the service provider.
- Subjective norm: the impact of the opinions of others' on the individual's behaviour - social influence, authoritative influence, peer pressure.
- Perceived innovativeness: willingness to take up new technologies; variables that have influence on the acceptance of various technologies.
- Prior similar experience: the effect of prior similar experience is considered to have a positive influence on perceived usefulness it facilitates imagining the potential benefits that could result from the adoption of a similar technology and perceived ease of use (Agarwal & Prasad, 1999).
- Compatibility / acknowledged needs: risk / benefit assessment - (1) are potential threats perceived? (2) Canthe adoption of the system improve personal safety? (Wu, 2009).
- Personal characteristics: age, gender, income and education might have an influence on the acceptance and motivation to use and adopt emergency communication technologies.
See the following figure. Acceptance of technologies used for enhancing crisis or emergency communication
Many citizens already use social media services on a daily basis. Therefore, from the public's point of view using social media in emergencies would not require adopting and learning to use new or different methods. Recent large scale crises have testified to the fact that the public turns to social media for communication in crises. As far as individuals are concerned, applications that are used in everyday life, especially if add-ons such as Twitter Alerts further enhance social media usage in an emergency context, could be more functional in terms of familiarity with the service and also comprehensiveness of content.