Linking the Technology Acceptance Model to Smartphone Use and Smartphone Use Disorder: Results from a Survey Study

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Published Apr 27, 2021
Cornelia Sindermann René Riedl Jon D. Elhai Christian Montag


Background: Despite the benefits that may result from smartphone use, evidence increasingly indicates that smartphone use may also have negative consequences when used in a disordered manner. One major concept in this research domain is a putative smartphone use disorder.

Objective: It is not known how a positive evaluation or acceptance of the smartphone, indicated for example by Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) variables, is associated with its increasing use and consequently tendencies towards smartphone use disorder.

Methods: To close this research gap, an online survey with N=698 smartphone users (n=330 men, n=368 women) was conducted to study potential links. All participants completed a TAM measure, provided information on daily smartphone use for personal and business use, and completed a scale assessing tendencies towards smartphone use disorder.

Results: Overall, TAM variables were positively related to smartphone use and tendencies towards smartphone use disorder. Descriptively stronger correlations of TAM with smartphone use were found in the personal use context compared to the business use context. Moreover, significantly stronger correlations of TAM scales with smartphone use disorder tendencies were found compared to the associations between TAM scales and daily smartphone use. Moreover, user gender also played a role in these relationships.

Conclusion: Potential explanations for the exploratory findings are discussed and limitations and potential avenues for future research are provided, such as conducting longitudinal studies to causally investigate the associations between TAM and smartphone use (disorder tendencies).

How to Cite

Sindermann, C., Riedl, R., Elhai, J. D., & Montag, C. (2021). Linking the Technology Acceptance Model to Smartphone Use and Smartphone Use Disorder: Results from a Survey Study. Digital Psychology, 2(1), 6–18.


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Article Details


Technology Acceptance Model, Smartphone Use Disorder, Daily Smartphone Use, Personal Use, Business Use

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