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Educational Resources

The Innovation Diffusion Lab's main research focus is to study the communication-based spread of new ideas, behaviors, and technologies through social systems all from the perspective of the diffusion of innovations theory. One of our goals is to educate others about the importance of diffusion of innovations research, and below you will find a variety of educational resources and information about the theory's origin, development, and framework.


The Creator of Diffusion Theory

Everett Rogers is a communications theorist and sociologist who created the diffusion of innovations theory and wrote a book about his theoretical discoveries in 1962 entitled, Diffusion of Innovations. To learn more about Roger's development and implementation of this theory, click on the button below to watch a video of Everett Rogers discussing the diffusion of innovations theory in a presentation at the University of Illinois in 2004.

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The Adoption Curve

An aspect of the diffusion of innovations theory that was developed by Rogers is the adoption curve which is an S-shaped curve that classifies the different types of adopters based on their timing of adoption. The different categories of individuals who adopt new innovations include the following: Innovators, Early Adopters, Early Majority, Late Majority, and Laggards. Click on the button below to learn more about the different adopter categories.

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Adopting Sustainable Innovations

When individuals adopt new innovations at different speeds, there are different motivational categories individuals have that cause them to adopt the new ideas. The different motivational categories to adopt new sustainable innovations include instrumental, environmental, and symbolic motivators. To learn more about the differences between each of the motivational categories, click on the button below.

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Additional Video Resources

The videos below were created by the OCT Group at Chapman University which later became the Innovation Diffusion Lab. The videos provide more information about the diffusion of innovations theory.