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  1. #1

    Default Attempt to Apply Typology Analysis to Social Change Agents -- Lend Your Insights

    In the theory "diffusion of innovations" social change analyst Rogers delineates "adopter categories" -- types of people who are more or less likely to adopt and implement an innovation. In the situation I'm working with, the innovation is an ideology. (for more on this theory see Diffusion of innovations - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

    The theory is somewhat controversial (note classist undertones, as an example) but putting controversy aside, I'm curious as to what others here think of the typology of each category. For instance, what MBTI (and/or Enneagram) types, if any, seem to fit the general description of the categories? It's quite possible that a typological analysis is impossible here, given such variation among types, but I'm curious to hear your thoughts. Thanks.

    Note: As an example of ideology, I'm using vegetarianism. I don't care to discuss the ideology itself, just how the typologies of categories may or may not apply.

    Quotation below:

    Rogers defines an adopter category as a classification of individuals within a social system on the basis of innovativeness. In the book Diffusion of Innovations, Rogers suggests a total of five categories of adopters in order to standardize the usage of adopter categories in diffusion research. It should be noted that the adoption of an innovation follows an S curve when plotted over a length of time.[citation needed] The categories of adopters are: innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, and laggards (Rogers 1962, p. 150)

    Innovators

    Innovators are the first individuals to adopt an innovation. Innovators are willing to take risks, youngest in age, have the highest social class, have great financial lucidity, very social and have closest contact to scientific sources and interaction with other innovators.

    Early Adopters

    This is second fastest category of individuals who adopt an innovation. These individuals have the highest degree of opinion leadership among the other adopter categories. Early adopters are typically younger in age, have a higher social status, have more financial lucidity, advanced education, and are more socially forward than late adopters (Rogers 1962, p. 185).

    Early Majority

    Individuals in this category adopt an innovation after a varying degree of time. This time of adoption is significantly longer than the innovators and early adopters. Early Majority tend to be slower in the adoption process, have above average social status, contact with early adopters, and show some opinion leadership

    Late Majority

    Individuals in this category will adopt an innovation after the average member of the society. These individuals approach an innovation with a high degree of skepticism and after the majority of society has adopted the innovation. Late Majority are typically skeptical about an innovation, have below average social status, very little financial lucidity, in contact with others in late majority and early majority, very little opinion leadership.

    Laggards

    Individuals in this category are the last to adopt an innovation. Unlike some of the previous categories, individuals in this category show little to no opinion leadership. These individuals typically have an aversion to change-agents and tend to be advanced in age. Laggards typically tend to be focused on “traditions”, have lowest social status, lowest financial fluidity, oldest of all other adopters, in contact with only family and close friends, very little to no opinion leadership.
    Last edited by psyche; 01-02-2010 at 11:45 PM. Reason: gave example of ideology to clarify my question

  2. #2
    Senior Member chasingAJ's Avatar
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    This has been used and abused a lot in marketing and business applications and doesn't really follow any of the current discussions on innovations in ideology, with the global community and internet access creating a (more) transparent environment that Rogers could not have seen (imo).

    For myself (INTJ) I would usually fall into the innovator or laggard category with almost anything but ideology creates a new spin that is really complicated to track. How do you determine who accepts an ideology but is unwilling to share that acceptance? At what point do we consider a person an adopter? When he/she believes in something or exhibits a conformist behavior or simply proclaims their support? I think it really depends on how far it deviates from the norm. If people believed that eating asparagus would cause age spots, that would be adopted much earlier and more easily than a political platform. Also, it would depend on what the ideology addressed. If it addressed signs of aging, the vain personality types would probably adopt much more quickly.

    I'm losing myself in my own thoughts on this... but when it comes to technology etc (I know not your ? but maybe it's some insight?) I am either really interested in it and trying to get it to happen before it becomes publicly available Or I'm the very last person to have one. Why? Because when things first come out, they suck. I'll let everyone else spend their money on it to test it for me... then after hearing all the ins and outs from people I know for years, I'll buy the best and save thousands. Otherwise, I'll have it made myself and know exactly what it is and if it sucks, at least I learned something for the $.

  3. #3
    Administrator highlander's Avatar
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    [I][B]
    Quote Originally Posted by psyche View Post

    My guesses, which are completely unscientific and solely focused on what I have seen.

    Innovators

    Innovators are the first individuals to adopt an innovation. Innovators are willing to take risks, youngest in age, have the highest social class, have great financial lucidity, very social and have closest contact to scientific sources and interaction with other innovators.

    ENTPs and maybe ENFPs seem like the first to adopt new things.

    Early Adopters

    This is second fastest category of individuals who adopt an innovation. These individuals have the highest degree of opinion leadership among the other adopter categories. Early adopters are typically younger in age, have a higher social status, have more financial lucidity, advanced education, and are more socially forward than late adopters (Rogers 1962, p. 185).

    INTJs fall into this category probably

    Early Majority

    Individuals in this category adopt an innovation after a varying degree of time. This time of adoption is significantly longer than the innovators and early adopters. Early Majority tend to be slower in the adoption process, have above average social status, contact with early adopters, and show some opinion leadership

    INTPs, ENTJs

    Late Majority

    Individuals in this category will adopt an innovation after the average member of the society. These individuals approach an innovation with a high degree of skepticism and after the majority of society has adopted the innovation. Late Majority are typically skeptical about an innovation, have below average social status, very little financial lucidity, in contact with others in late majority and early majority, very little opinion leadership.

    ISTJs and ESTJs come to mind.

    Laggards

    Individuals in this category are the last to adopt an innovation. Unlike some of the previous categories, individuals in this category show little to no opinion leadership. These individuals typically have an aversion to change-agents and tend to be advanced in age. Laggards typically tend to be focused on “traditions”, have lowest social status, lowest financial fluidity, oldest of all other adopters, in contact with only family and close friends, very little to no opinion leadership.

    ISFJs for sure

  4. #4
    Feline Member kelric's Avatar
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    I think that "innovation" is potentially too large a category to really get any sort of consistent correlation among any sort of type category. Your mention of age is probably much more consistent, in general.

    Personally, over the years I can see myself anywhere from "early adopter" to "laggard". It's completely dependent on how the innovation aligns with my interests and lifestyle. I suspect that many, if not most people of any type, fit that pattern. I was a daily user of the internet before the first graphical web browser was released in 1993 (newsgroups, ftp repositories, telnet chat, etc.). I've had full-time, broadband internet (DSL, in my case) for over 10 years. Of course, I also bought my first CD player in, I think it was 2002, and I've used a cell phone perhaps 5 times... ever. Some things are important and useful for me, and some things aren't.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  5. #5

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    Thanks for your responses.

    I realize I need to clarify the part about ideology; kelric is right in that what the ideology is about determines a lot.

    Let's just say the ideology is vegetarianism (and this is just an example to use for clarity). So the "innovation" is both an idea or belief and a behavior....

  6. #6
    Administrator highlander's Avatar
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    Clarification - my guesses relate to technology adoption only.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by highlander29 View Post
    Clarification - my guesses relate to technology adoption only.
    Oh -- that's good to know! Thanks.

  8. #8
    Senior Member chasingAJ's Avatar
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    That does make it easier for me to wrap my head around, if Vegetarianism were catching I'd probably be one of the last to get it. It will take many months of research before I accept something like that. I'm still afraid to eat Splenda

    My thoughts on how that relates to my type... I'm too introverted to care about what other people are doing unless there is a specific benefit to it and in order to determine if that benefit is really a benefit I will have to methodically pull it apart and play with the idea before I commit. Maybe it's the difference between N and S but I think that if my body needed me to be vegetarian I would already know that, as far as everything else... there is empirical research.

    My SO is an INFP and said that he would probably be in the second group because he is innovative but tends to hear an idea and improve upon it until it feels right. Take the new ideology and make it comfortable.

  9. #9
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    Since the price of technology is nowadays lower than when this model was built, it's likely that the references to financial capability of innovators and early adopters will not be really fitting anymore.
    ENTj 7-3-8 sx/sp

  10. #10
    Senior Member the state i am in's Avatar
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    Ne is the most forward projected (from the present), Ni is the most eternal and unchanging (from the past to the future), Se is the most here and now and scanning for changes, and Si is the most rooted in the past and resistant to change.

    innovation is often an accident, a fortunate confluence of events, a mutation, etc. Ni will often chart the course for Ne as well.

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