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Hartl, Eva and Berger, Benedikt ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8220-7686 (2017): Escaping Reality: Examining the Role of Presence and Escapism in User Adoption of Virtual Reality Glasses. 25th European Conference on Information System (ECIS 2017), Guimarães, Portugal, June 5-10, 2017. In: Proceedings of the 25th European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS), Guimarães, Portugal, June 5-10, 2017, pp. 2413-2428

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The development of virtual reality (VR) glasses such as the Oculus Rift has made VR technologies available to the mass market. The rapid diffusion of VR glasses holds the potential to disrupt the way media is consumed. Yet little is known about their acceptance by consumers. This study seeks to explore the user acceptance of VR glasses, considering the specifics of hedonic information systems in consumer settings. Focusing on user personality, namely the users’ desire to escape reality, we developed a framework based on the extended unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT2) and tested it in a laboratory study with 155 participants. The structural equation model results show that VR glasses’ ability to induce presence, a sense of being in another environment, is a key characteristic of the technology that influences the adoption. We found the users’ escapism tendency to be a distinctive user personality trait for determining the adoption of VR glasses. Our study provides insights into the adoption of technology in early diffusion stages and the role of technology characteristics and personality traits in adoption decisions. Finally, our findings have important implications for practitioners in the VR industry.

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