Although there are numerous explanations of why users behave in specific ways toward information technologies, recent work in social psychology suggests that holistic traits such as awareness and openness are potentially important explanatory variables in technology behavior theories. In this paper, we examine the multi-dimensional construct of mindfulness and its applicability to the domain of IS research. We discuss the theory of mindfulness as developed in the social psychology literature. Specifically, we adapt the notion of mindfulness and its dimensions – alertness to distinction, openness to novelty, orientation in the present, and awareness of multiple perspectives – to the domain of information systems. In doing so, we place mindfulness within the broader nomological net related to individual level decisions about information technology. Also, we present preliminary explanations for how mindfulness converges with and discriminates from existing constructs in the innovation diffusion literature. Finally, we present an initial domain-specific measure of mindfulness and outline a study designed to assess the psychometric properties of the proposed measure. Using data collected from 238 subjects with Internet Applications as the target technology, preliminary analysis indicates that the operational measures have acceptable psychometric properties and confirmatory factor analysis supports the proposed multi-dimensional structure. Implications for practice and research are offered.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/jason_thatcher/29/