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Application of protection motivation theory to adoption of protective technologies

While most technology adoption models have focused on beneficial technologies, Protection Motivation Theory (PMT) is a potentially valuable model for predicting adoption of protective technologies, which help users avoid harm from a growing number of negative technologies, such as malware. We present a PMT-based model of users’ intentions to adopt anti-spyware software and test the model on undergraduate student computer users. Results show that perceived vulnerability, perceived severity, response efficacy, and response cost influence behavioral intention to use anti-spyware software as a protective technology. Maladaptive coping was affected to a much lesser degree by these variables, although it did have its own significant effect on behavioral intention. Results are compared to the small but growing number of promising PMTbased research models investigating technology adoption.