The author wishes to thank Everett M. Rogers, Philip Bonacich, Edward L. Fink, two anonymous reviewers, and his colleagues at JHU/Population Communication Services for their help in this research.
Diffusion of Innovations and Policy Decision-Making
Version of Record online: 7 FEB 2006
Journal of Communication
Volume 43, Issue 1, pages 30–45, March 1993
How to Cite
Valente, T. W. (1993), Diffusion of Innovations and Policy Decision-Making. Journal of Communication, 43: 30–45. doi: 10.1111/j.1460-2466.1993.tb01247.x
- Issue online: 7 FEB 2006
- Version of Record online: 7 FEB 2006
This article presents a general mathematical model of the diffusion of innovations, which incorporates mass media and interpersonal influence. The model is applied to three classic diffusion data sets: (a) use of hybrid corn, (b) knowledge of Eisenhower's stroke, and (c) doctors’prescription of a new drug. Nonlinear regression is used to estimate the mathematical model. The results show that diffusion of hybrid corn occurred via interpersonal influence, whereas the diffusion of knowledge of Eisenhower's stroke occurred via the mass media. For the diffusion of the new drug, the model shows that doctors who subscribed to few medical journals learned about the drug primarily through interpersonal influence, while doctors who subscribed to many medical journals learned about the drug through both mass media and interpersonal channels. Policy decision-makers can use diffusion models to (a) evaluate the effectiveness of media versus interpersonal campaigns, (b) make comparisons between subgroups, and (c) evaluate the effect of a policy.