Theoretical and Empirical Perspectives on the Psychology of Digital Natives and New-Age Technologies

All manuscripts that address these and related themes will be considered by the Special Issue Guest Editors, Nisreen Ameen (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), Sameer Hosany (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), and Babak Taheri (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Please refer to Aims and Scope of the journal and follow the manuscript submission guidelines as detailed under “Instructions to Authors” on the Wiley Psychology & Marketing website (

Address your cover letter to Charles Hofacker (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), Psychology & Marketing Special Issues Editor, and note in your cover letter that your manuscript is being submitted for publication consideration in the “Psychology of Digital Natives” Special Issue. The deadline for submitting manuscripts for this Special Issue is December 29, 2021.

Generation Z are the first digital natives, born between 1997 and 2012 (Dimock, 2019). Comprising 40% of all consumers (Chamberlain, 2018), with a spending power totalling $143 billion in 2020, companies are competing to attract Generation Z (Davis, 2020). Retailers and brands are increasingly using new-age technologies (Ameen et al., 2020; Rauschnabel, 2018; Kumar, Ramachandran & Kumar, 2020) such as, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, virtual reality, wearable technology, robotics and biometrics to appeal to the technology savvy Generation Z segment.


The existing body of research acknowledged that Generation Z are different from other generations in terms of their needs and preferences (Priporas, Stylos & Fotiadis, 2017). They are risk averse in terms of both their attitude and behaviour. Narcissism is also particularly prevalent among individuals in this young generation (Neave, Tzemou & Fastoso, 2020). The creative use of advanced technologies and high engagement with social media sharing are the norm for digital natives (Ameen et al., 2020; Barak, 2018; Dedeoglu et al., 2020). There is also an interest to combine old and new technologies in search of engaging experiences (Schiavone, 2013). Psychological/social concepts such as narcissism, self-esteem, self-image, peer influence, self-disclosure, materialistic values, stress are highly relevant to understand digital natives. In addition, personality variables including extraversion/introversion, conscientiousness, tolerance of uncertainty, neuroticism, narcissism, anxiety, social enjoyment (Gentina & Rowe, 2020), and social variables such as loneliness and social support (Gentina & Chen, 2019) or theory of mind (Gentina, Yang, & Chen, 2020) can explain how digital natives interact with technology.


Among digital natives, materialistic values compensate for unstable self-esteem and feelings of insecurity (Chaplin, Hill & John, 2014), and help to defend social status within the reference group. Further, youth materialism, the value individuals place on the acquisition and possession of material objects, is a primary antecedent of problematic technology dependency. Previous studies show that materialism causes addictive behaviours, such as addictive buying (Claes Müller & Luyckx, 2016) and problematic technology use (Gentina & Rowe, 2020). More specifically, higher levels of materialism and narcissism lead to technology addiction among this young generation.


Despite its importance, there is a lack of research focusing on digital natives’ interaction with new-age technologies and the developmental psychology aspects of this process (Priporas et al., 2017; Duffett, 2017; Kesharwani, 2020). The goal of this special issue is to encourage interdisciplinary collaboration to identify new theoretical and empirical perspectives on the psychology of digital natives and new-age technologies. We welcome quantitative (e.g., modelling approaches, experiments), qualitative (e.g., nethnography, participant-observation, case studies) or mixed methods research focusing on issues around digital natives’ interactions with new-age technologies. We seek manuscripts with generalisable findings that go beyond single cross‐sectional studies measuring intentions. Topics along the following areas are highly welcome, though other relevant areas will be considered:


  • The digital natives (Generation Z) willingness to disclose personal information while interacting with new-age technologies
  • Digital natives’ adoption and use of new-age technologies as a lifestyle statement and the moderating roles of self-concept, self-construal and self-esteem
  • Social media and the importance of consumer-generated content for digital natives
  • Psychological traits associated with digital natives use of ‘vintage innovation’ and the integration of old and new technologies for hedonic pleasure
  • The psychological mechanisms to understand digital natives’ overdependence or addiction to smartphones and other new-age technologies
  • How new-age technologies (e.g. augmented and virtual reality) can be used to address issues related to the psychological well-being of digital natives such as low self-esteem, body image, computer anxiety and (dis)engagement
  • Co-designing technology-enabled solutions and interactions for young consumers
  • Gender differences in young consumers’ needs and preferences related to the use of new-age technologies
  • How digital natives engage with modern media streaming such as Over-the-top (OTT) media service and multiple video platforms
  • Digital natives and broadcasting in the Digital Age
  • Private spaces and young consumers and issues such as privacy vs personalisation
  • Technology readiness index (TRI) 2.0 and young consumers’ propensity to embrace and use new-age technologies
  • Digital natives’ attachment and emotions towards technology products and brands
  • Positive and negative influences of social media and its effects on how digital natives perceive services enabled by new-age technologies




Ameen, N., Tarhini, A., Shah, M. & Hosany, S. (2020). Consumer interaction with cutting-edge technology. Computers in Human Behavior. Retrieved from

Barak, M., (2018). Are digital natives open to change? Examining flexible thinking and resistance to change. Computers & Education121, 115-123.

Claes, L., Müller, A. & Luyckx, K., (2016). Compulsive buying and hoarding as identity substitutes: The role of materialistic value endorsement and depression. Comprehensive Psychiatry68, 65-71.

Chamberlain, L. (2018). Gen-Z Will Account for 40 Percent Of All Consumers By 2020. Retrieved from

Chaplin, L.N., Hill, R.P. & John, D.R., (2014). Poverty and materialism: A look at impoverished versus affluent children. Journal of Public Policy & Marketing33(1), 78-92.

Davis, D. (2020). Gen Zers have a spending power of over $140 billion, and it's driving the frenzy of retailers and brands trying to win their dollars. Retrieved from

Dedeoglu, B.B., Taheri, B., Okumus, F., & Gannon, M. (2020). Understanding the importance that consumers attach to social media sharing (ISMS): Scale development and validation, Tourism Management, 76,

Dimock, M. (2019). Defining generations: Where Millennials end and Generation Z begins. Retrieved from

Duffett, R.G., (2017). Influence of social media marketing communications on young consumers’ attitudes. Young Consumers, 18(1), 19-39.

Gentina E., & Chen, RH (2019). Digital natives’ coping with loneliness: Facebook or face-to-face?. Information Management, 56 (6), 103-138.

Gentina E, Chen R, & Yang Z. (2020). Development of theory of mind on online social networks: Evidence from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. Journal of Business Research

Gentina, E. & Rowe, F., (2020). Effects of materialism on problematic smartphone dependency among adolescents: The role of gender and gratifications. International Journal of Information Management54, 102134.

Kesharwani, A., (2020). Do (how) digital natives adopt a new technology differently than digital immigrants? A longitudinal study. Information & Management57(2), 103170.

Kumar, V., Ramachandran, D. & Kumar, B., (2020). Influence of new-age technologies on marketing: A research agenda. Journal of Business Research

Neave, L., Tzemou, E. & Fastoso, F., (2020). Seeking attention versus seeking approval: How conspicuous consumption differs between grandiose and vulnerable narcissists. Psychology & Marketing, 37(3), 418-427.

Priporas, C.V., Stylos, N. & Fotiadis, A.K., (2017). Generation Z consumers' expectations of interactions in smart retailing: A future agenda. Computers in Human Behavior, 77, 374-381.

Rauschnabel, P.A., (2018). Virtually enhancing the real world with holograms: An exploration of expected gratifications of using augmented reality smart glasses. Psychology & Marketing, 35(8), 557-572.

Schiavone, F. (2013). Communities of Practice and Vintage Innovation: a strategic reaction to technological change. Springer Science & Business Media.