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First published online December 21, 2019

Shaking Confidence in Technology: Effects of an Earthquake-Induced Nuclear Disaster on Technology Adoption in Middle-Aged and Older Adults


Using the coincidental timing of a national survey conducted in Japan before and after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011, this study reports a rare natural experiment that explored how the experience of a nuclear disaster influenced technology adoption in middle-aged and older adults. We conducted path analyses assessing how technology or nontechnology adoption intention and behavior changed before and after the nuclear disaster and whether age could moderate the potential change over and above other relevant factors. Our models supported that Japanese middle-aged to older adults reported fewer technology adoption behaviors after experiencing of the earthquake. However, the negative impact of the earthquake was not more pronounced in older adults. Our results suggest that researchers need to pay more attention to the issue of how loss of trust and/or perceived risk affect technology adoption interacting with other relevant factors, particularly, age-related factors and abilities.

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Published In

Article first published online: December 21, 2019
Issue published: May 2021


  1. technology adoption
  2. disaster
  3. path analysis

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© The Author(s) 2019.
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Manuscript received: April 2, 2019
Revision received: November 18, 2019
Manuscript accepted: November 20, 2019
Published online: December 21, 2019
Issue published: May 2021
PubMed: 31868087



Neil Charness
Florida State University, Tallahassee, USA
Florian Kohlbacher
The Economist Corporate Network, Tokyo, Japan


Jong-Sung Yoon, Department of Psychology, University of South Dakota, 414 E. Clark St, Vermillion, SD 57069, USA. Email: [email protected]

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