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Abstract

Technology addiction is a relatively new mental condition that has not yet been well integrated into mainstream MIS models. This study bridges this gap and incorporates technology addiction into technology use processes in the context of online auctions. It examines how user cognition and ultimately usage intentions toward an information technology are distorted by addiction to the technology. The findings from two empirical studies of 132 and 223 eBay users, using three different operationalizations of addiction, indicate that the level of online auction addiction distorts the way the IT artifact is perceived. Informing a range of cognition-modification processes, addiction to online auctions augments user perceptions of enjoyment, usefulness, and ease of use attributed to the technology, which in turn influence usage intentions. Overall, consistent with behavioral addiction models, the findings indicate that users’ levels of online auction addiction influence their reasoned IT usage decisions by altering users’ belief systems. The formation of maladaptive perceptions is driven by a combination of memory-, learning-, and bias-based cognition modification processes. Implications of the findings are discussed.

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