Disarming Prejudice: How Ease of Use Mitigates the Detrimental Effect of IT-Based Stereotype Threat on the IT-Task Performance of Older Adults
Markus Nöltner
Julia Krönung
Beatrice G. Kuhlmann
Beiträge in referierten Konferenzbänden
erschienen in:
Proceedings of the 40th International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS 2019), München, Deutschland, 2019.

We propose that although just an oversimplified picture, the stereotype that older adults cannot use IT turns into a real threat to older adults on IT tasks. We find in an experiment with 96 older adults on a municipality website that the stereotype of not being able to use IT creates a toxic cognitive load in the minds of older adults, which in turn significantly impairs their information search on the website. Based on cognitive load as a theoretical leverage point for an intervention against IT-based stereotype threat, our results furthermore highlight that increasing a website’s ease of use effectively protects older adults against the stereotype about their inability in the IS domain. We offer in this paper a theoretically-grounded starting point for disarming prejudice in the digital transformation of societies.