Honors Theses

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis



First Advisor

John Young

Relational Format



E.M. Rogers’ Diffusion of Innovation Theory is used to explain the process of how an idea or technology gains momentum and spreads through a particular population. The result of the diffusion is called adoption, meaning that over time the group has changed their initial behavior (i.e. using the new technology, purchasing and performing new behavior, etc.). There is considerable evidence for successful use of this theory in various fields. The study investigates the theory using a new psychological screening technology. A solicitation to hear information about the tool was presented to 19 physicians who were separated into two randomized groups, each group receiving one of two initial solicitation messages. One message was crafted to enunciate key elements of Diffusion of Innovation Theory and the other was more generic (i.e., not designed to specifically enhance the likelihood of diffusion). The results indicate that the hypothesized method of diffusion, the one following the theory’s tenets, was more successful in soliciting responses to the initial email. Potential interpretations of the results include the significance of affinity to group membership as a predictor of how easily an innovation will be adopted and diffused throughout a population, and that the choice of language for communication assists in determining perceptions of the solicitor.

Included in

Biochemistry Commons



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