Date Approved

2018

Degree Type

Campus Only Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

College of Technology

Committee Member

Ali Eydgahi, PhD

Committee Member

Robert Chapman, PhD

Committee Member

Deb de Laski-Smith, PhD

Committee Member

Sarah Walsh, PhD

Abstract

This study investigated the technology acceptance (TA) of 21st century biomedical treatments by adults in the United States. A new TA instrument was created, and two policy measures were assessed: “Who decides?” and “Who pays?” An on-line survey produced 353 usable responses to answer five research questions, the most important of which were “Were there any significant differences in the TA responses for the biomedical treatments?” and “What trends were evident in the responses of the two policy preferences?” The new TA scale produced distinct patterns for each of five biomedical treatment levels: (a) Healing and Prevention, (b) Replacement Organs, (c) Enhancements-Medical, (d) Enhancements- Discretionary, and (e) Transhumans, with clear support for Levels 1–3, and very strong opposition to Levels 4–5. For Levels 1–3, Patients and Doctors were selected by 84% of respondents for “Who decides?” while Patients and Insurance Companies were 70% of the “Who pays?” responses. For Levels 4–5, None of These (59%) and Patients (26%) were the most frequent “Who decides?” choices and 81% combined of those for “Who pays?” The TA finding draws the line between which human enhancements are acceptable and where public policies and medical guidelines should prohibit others. The policy preference responses indicated a high level of personal responsibility at all treatment levels and reinforced respondents’ antipathy toward Enhancements-Discretionary and Transhumans. Overall, the TA and policy preference scales produced clear results and the research model was validated.

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