Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Mark Pancer

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


The theory of reasoned action (Ajzen & Fishbein, 1980) was used to predict and understand University students’ attitudes toward using a computer for word processing, and such attitudes were changed through an intervention strategy, consisting of a persuasive communication and a word processing task. Results from study one indicated that the theory of reasoned action was a useful model of predicting and understanding attitudes toward word processing and also intention and behavior. Results from a computer attitude questionnaire administered to 238 University students (100 males and 138 females), who volunteered to participate, suggested that intention to do word processing predicted participation in the word processing task of study two. In turn, intention was largely mediated by attitudinal rather than normative considerations. Attitude was predicted by three behavioral beliefs; the belief that using a computer for word processing would: be enjoyable, save time and effort, and most importantly, be necessary for work. A total of 60 students (15 males; 45 females) were selected for study two on the basis of having completed study one and having volunteered for study two. Fifteen respondents were randomly assigned to one of four conditions: relevant persuasive communication plus word processing, irrelevant persuasive communication plus word processing, neutral passage plus word processing, and no communication plus no word processing. Results from the computer attitude questionnaire administered in study two indicated that a significant interaction was found for attitudes between treatment and time. Participants receiving the relevant persuasive communication, containing beliefs that predicted attitude toward word processing, hard the most positive change in attitude compared to participants who received irrelevant, neutral, or no communication. There were no differences in attitude between those who performed the word processing task and those who did not.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season


Included in

Psychology Commons