Technology self-perceptions: the effects of gender, education program and job type

Resource type
Thesis type
(Dissertation) Ph.D.
Date created
This study explores gender and education effects on self-perceptions of technology self-efficacy and locus of control. Three steps were used to approach the issue: (1) testing for gender and education influences on individual’s feelings of self-efficacy and control with technology, (2) assessing intentions to update job and technology skills, and (3) whether prior experience with technology positively influenced self-perceptions. The self-perception measures used were versions of Rosenberg’s self-esteem scale, Spector’s work locus of control scale, and Ajzen’s theory of planned behavior. These scales were modified to reflect job and technology domains, and administered in an online questionnaire. The respondents were classified into technology and non-technology jobs, and technology (computer science, engineering, and interactive arts) and non-technology education programs. There were 49 men and 34 women with technology education, and 41 men and 55 women from non-technology education programs. The study findings revealed men have higher technology self-efficacy compared to women, and women with a technology education had higher technology self-efficacy compared to women with a non-technology education. An unexpected result of the study is women with technology jobs have lower technology self-efficacy when compared to women with non-technology jobs. The theory of planned behavior accounts for less than 30% of the variance, and was not a powerful predictor for updating job or technology skills. The main contribution of this study is finding evidence of a positive influence of technology education among women. Although the results confirm prior research showing women have lower self-evaluations on all scales—and technology scales in particular--the women-only results suggest an overall positive influence of technology education on technology self-efficacy. The study used quantitative data and samples from an employed population, thereby expanding the knowledge area beyond high school and university student samples used in many gender and technology studies.
Copyright statement
Copyright is held by the author.
The author granted permission for the file to be printed and for the text to be copied and pasted.
Scholarly level
Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Bowes, John
Attachment Size
etd6940_HTrevor-Smith.pdf 2.32 MB