Measurement of tech anxiety in older and younger adults

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences


Tech anxiety is an established barrier to technology adoption, and recent work suggests it may also impair the development of higher-order digital competencies. Researching this issue requires a reliable measure of tech anxiety. The widely-used Computer Anxiety Rating Scale was developed more than 30 years ago, but computer devices and use have changed dramatically during that time. We developed and tested a new Tech Anxiety Rating Scale (TARS) encompassing a range of modern devices, tasks, and scenarios. One hundred eight older adults and 150 college students completed the TARS and six other surveys related to computer use, anxiety, self-efficacy, proficiency, and attitudes. We present an exploratory factor analysis of the TARS for the combined datasets and separately for the older and younger adults. Overall, the EFA revealed common underlying factors for older and younger adults, suggesting that the TARS is appropriate for use with both populations.

Publisher's Statement

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019. Publisher’s version of record: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-23525-3_71

Publication Title

International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction