Understanding students’ adoption of the ChatGPT chatbot in higher education

the role of anthropomorphism, trust, design novelty and institutional policy

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The present research aims to highlight the underlying factors that drive students’ adoption of the ChatGPT chatbot in higher education. This study extends the meta-UTAUT framework by including additional exogenous factors of anthropomorphism, trust, design novelty, and institutional policy. Empirical examination with Structural Equation Modelling among 355 students in Dutch higher education institutions revealed attitude and behavioural intention as significant positive predictors of students’ ChatGPT use behaviour. Institutional policy negatively moderated the effect of behavioural intention on use behaviour. Behavioural intention was significantly and positively influenced by attitude, performance expectancy, social influence, and facilitating conditions. Anthropomorphism, design novelty, trust, performance expectancy, and effort expectancy were unveiled as significant positive antecedents of attitude. The central theoretical contributions of this research include investigating students’ use behaviour instead of behavioural intention, establishing attitude as a core construct, underlining additional antecedents of attitude, and highlighting the importance of institutional policy. The present study contributes to prior research on technology adoption, especially in the area of artificial intelligence in education. The findings yield valuable insights for chatbot designers, product managers, and higher education policy writers.