Understanding customers' naive theories of high-tech products and services

Date of publication: September 1, 1999


We developed a new methodology for qualitative research based on cognitive science to study the conditions of diffusion of technological innovations. The method focuses on customers naive theories about high- tech products and services. It is illustrated by a study carried out in France and Italy of the general public's understanding of Internet. The results reveal a number of common misconceptions about the structure functioning and use of Internet which help in understanding the reluctance of Italian and French consumers in respect to Internet-based products and service.

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