diffusion of innovations: Information From

Diffusion of innovations is the social sciences theory for how and why new ideas spread through cultures.

French sociologist Gabriel Tarde originally claimed that sociology was based on small
psychological interactions among individuals, especially imitation and innovation.

Diffusion of innovations theory was formalized by Everett Rogers in a 1962 book called
Diffusion of Innovations. Rogers stated that adopters of any new innovation or idea could be categorized as innovators
(2.5%), early adopters (13.5%), early majority (34%), late majority (34%) and
laggards (16%), based on a bell curve. Each adopter's willingness and ability to
adopt an innovation would depend on their awareness, interest, evaluation, trial, and adoption. Rogers showed these innovations
would spread through society in an S curve.

Characteristics of product adopters:

  • innovators - venturesome, educated, multiple info sources

  • early adopters - social leaders, popular, educated

  • early majority - deliberate, many informal social contacts

  • late majority - skeptical, traditional, lower socio-economic status

  • laggards - neighbours and friends are main info sources, fear of debt

Other adopters of diffusion of innovations theory include Geoffrey Moore.

See also