Date of Award

Spring 1999

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Business Administration-Marketing

Committee Director

Earl D. Honeycutt, Jr

Committee Member

John B. Ford

Committee Member

Edward Markowski


The purpose of this effort was to focus on measuring the psychological characteristics (specifically perceived risk, dogmatism, fatalism, self esteem, empathy, and cognitive complexity) of the innovative consumer. In order to assess the various relationships and interrelationships that exist in the psychological determinants of innovativeness, a structural modeling approach was employed. The model was also tested in a two country setting in order to determine its robustness cross-culturally. The innovative behavior measure focused on a single domain, the Internet, since innovativeness does not typically overlap across product categories (e.g. Gatignon and Robertson 1985).

Overall, the results of the test of the model of innovativeness used in this study support the assertions of recent researchers (Goldsmith and Hofacker 1991; Mudd 1990) that a relationship exists between a consumer's personality traits, innovativeness predisposition and adoption behavior. It also provides credence for the long held belief that early adopters of new products exhibit a tendency toward innovativeness (e.g., Midgley and Dowling 1978; Rogers and Shoemaker 1971). This may be important for marketers since it can provide future researchers with the ability to use trait innovativeness as a surrogate for actual adoption behavior.

The findings of this study also showed that three of the six personality measures were directly related to innovativeness predisposition: fatalism, cognitive complexity, and risk. Thus, consumers who are innovative can be said to (1) perceive themselves as able to control their own future; (2) actively seek out information and enjoy interpreting stimuli multidimensionally; and (3) enjoys change and is not afraid of situations with uncertain outcomes.

Finally, the innovativeness model was verified cross-culturally. The fact that the overall model was structurally similar in the United States and Australia reconfirms the notion that countries which share a cultural rather than a geographic proximity may exhibit similar innovative styles (Cosmos and Sheth 1980; Green and Langeard 1975).

In summary, the findings from this study support the notion that the adoption of a new product is an actualization of an innovativeness trait.