How Resistance to Innovation Unfolds

Freedom Threat and Novelty as Barriers to Innovation Adoption
9 January 2018 until 30 November 2023
Project member(s)
Prof. R.W. Holland (Rob) Dr S.M. Ritter (Simone) , Dr. Madelon van Hooff
Project type

Innovations are necessary to deal with our fast-changing environment and society. However, innovations that require people to change their behaviour often are perceived as stressful and encounter resistance.

In my PhD-project, I aim to better understand resistance to innovation implementations and to find better ways to overcome it. This is done in three parts. Firstly, we aim to understand how reactions to being influenced unfold by investigating the modifiability and the psychophysiological markers of responses to freedom threat. Secondly, we aim to integrate influence and novelty by investigating the impact of freedom threat on novelty avoidance. Thirdly, we aim to decrease resistance to innovations based on the acquired insights. The first two research lines mostly take place in a virtual reality setting, and the third line will be investigated in a field study in order to maximise the applied value.

My main interest both in this project and beyond, is understanding what determines whether people in a social context will change their behaviour, and helping people adapt to a changing environment.