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An exploration of affect factors and their role in user technology acceptance: Mediation and causality

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Abstract

Affect factors have gained researchers' attention in a number of fields. The Information Systems (IS) literature, however, shows some gaps and inconsistencies regarding the role of affect factors in human–computer interaction. Building upon prior research, this study aims at a better understanding of affect factors by clarifying their relationships with each other and with other primary user acceptance factors. Two affect variables that are different in nature were examined: computer playfulness (CP) and perceived enjoyment (PE). We theoretically clarified and methodologically verified their mediating effects and causal relationships with other primary factors influencing user technology acceptance, namely perceived ease of use (PEOU), perceived usefulness (PU), and behavioral intention (BI). Quantitative data were analyzed using R.M. Baron and D. Kenny's (1986) method for mediating effects and P.R. Cohen, A. Carlsson, L. Ballesteros, and R.S. Amant's (1993) path analysis method for causal relationships. These analyses largely supported our hypotheses. Results from this research indicate that a PE → PEOU causal direction is favored, and PEOU partially mediates PE's impacts on PU whereas PE fully mediates CP's impact on PEOU. With the increased interest in various affect factors in user technology acceptance and use, our study sheds light on the role of affect factors from both theoretical and methodological perspectives. Practical implications are discussed as well.

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