Choosing between the theory of planned behavior (TPB) and the technology acceptance model (TAM)

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Conflicting perspectives exist regarding the application of the technology acceptance model (TAM) and the theory of planned behavior (TPB) to the study of technology acceptance behavior. The present study addressed the controversy by evaluating and comparing the predictive power of the two theories in a specific context, which was to measure students' intentions to use a wiki for group work and their behaviors in doing so. A total of 174 students from a university in Hong Kong participated in the study. Three hypothesized models were examined using factor-based partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM), which can account for measurement errors and is thus more robust than regression-based PLS-SEM. The results likely rebut the view that the TPB is inferior to the TAM. Moreover, this research highlighted the importance of social influences on collaborative e-learning. Copyright © 2018 Association for Educational Communications and Technology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-37
JournalEducational Technology Research and Development
Issue number1
Early online dateMay 2018
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019


group work
electronic learning
Hong Kong


Cheng, E. W. L. (2019). Choosing between the theory of planned behavior (TPB) and the technology acceptance model (TAM). Educational Technology Research and Development, 67(1), 21-37. doi: 10.1007/s11423-018-9598-6


  • Theory of planned behavior
  • Technology acceptance model
  • Factor-based PLS-SEM
  • Consistent PLS-SEM
  • Social influences