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Diffusion of Innovations Model

  • By: Kristin Pace
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

The diffusion of innovations model was popularized by Everett Rogers in 1962. The theory explores how new ideas, or innovations, are spread throughout a culture. Rogers argues the adoption of an innovation occurs over time through communication within a social system. The theory suggests attributes of the innovation, the communication channels, and characteristics of the social system will impact the rate and success of the innovation's adoption. Knowledge of these processes allows health communicators to develop strategies that can enhance the adoption of a new health behavior or technology.

There are several attributes an innovation can possess: relative advantage, compatibility, complexity, trialability, and observability. These attributes help determine how receptive an individual may be toward an innovation. Relative advantage refers to the extent an innovation is ...

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