The tipping point

Dr Connar McShane presenting.

Dr Connar McShane is unpacking the complexity surrounding decision making behaviours regarding adopting or not adopting new technologies.

Much of the success of technological innovations rests upon the decision of individuals to accept the applicability, relevance and value of the technological device, system or process.

Our decision to adopt a new behaviour is often influenced by social and emotional cues, and gaining an understanding of these factors will play a vital role in increasing the likelihood of adoption.

Agritech innovation seeks to address questions such as: How do we address vulnerabilities in supply chains? How do we meet labour shortages? How do we conserve inputs and reduce impacts on the environment? Much of the future proofing discussion is focused on technological innovations such as automation, remote sensing, digitization of systems and processes.

Instrumentation in cane field.

However, much of the success of these technological innovation rests upon the decisions of individuals to accept the applicability and relevance of the innovation, which can subsequently influence the uptake of the innovation by others. Determinants of adoption goes beyond practicable considerations of access to software, infrastructure, training and services. Our decisions to adopt a new behaviour, whether that be a technological device or digital system, is often influenced by social and emotional cues that are not necessarily apparent to the individual

"This research group explores what the psychological tipping points are that motivate people to change an existing behaviour or adopt a new behaviour in a regional or agricultural sustainability context."

Dr Connar McShane


Dr McShane is researching factors that influence human decision-making and also the complex interplay between social, emotional and cognitive processes that can motivate a person to adopt or not adopt new technologies. A better understanding of these factors can inform more tailored implementation strategies, increasing the likelihood of adoption and thereby more effectively contributing to the future proofing of agriculture.

Dr Connar McShane

Senior Lecturer, Psychology, James Cook University

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