Title: User-device attachment – scale development and initial test

Authors: Kai Wehmeyer

Addresses: European Research Center for Information Systems (ERCIS), University of Munster, Leonardo Campus 3, 48149 Munster, Germany

Abstract: Many authors describe mobile devices as very personal objects and users are said to develop deep relationships with them. Motivated by such recurring statements, this paper introduces user-device attachment as a concept describing the relationship between users and their mobile devices. By drawing on literature from marketing, Human–Computer Interaction, and sociology, the domain and dimensions of user device attachment are described. Three dimensions: symbolism, aesthetics, and perceived necessity are conceptualised to represent elements of user-device attachment. An initial instrument for measurement is developed and assessed with exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses. Corresponding with the conceptualised dimensions, a three-factor solution was found and confirmed using data gathered in two surveys (n1 = 130, n2 = 323). The resulting instrument provides a basis for future discussions and conceptual and empirical work on the phenomenon of user-device attachment in mobile user behaviour. Possible benefits of applying the construct to areas like mobile advertising and mobile service development are identified.

Keywords: aesthetics; construct development; mobile devices; mobile user behaviour; symbolism; user-device attachment; mobile communications; symbolism; perceived necessity; mobile advertising; mobile services.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMC.2008.017511

International Journal of Mobile Communications, 2008 Vol.6 No.3, pp.280 - 295

Published online: 13 Mar 2008 *

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