The technology adoption lifecycle model describes the adoption or acceptance of a new product or innovation, according to the demographic and psychological characteristics of defined adopter groups. The process of adoption over time is typically illustrated as a classical normal distribution or "bell curve." The model indicates that the first group of people to use a new product is called "innovators," followed by "early adopters." Next come the early and late majority, and the last group to eventually adopt a product are called "laggards."
The demographic and psychological (or "psychographic") profiles of each adoption group were originally specified by the North Central Rural Sociology Committee, Subcommittee for the Study of the Diffusion of Farm Practices (as cited by Beal and Bohlen in their study above).
The report summarised the categories as:
innovators - had larger farms, were more educated, more prosperous and more risk-oriented
early adopters - younger, more educated, tended to be community leaders
early majority - more conservative but open to new ideas, active in community and influence to neighbours
late majority - older, less educated, fairly conservative and less socially active
laggards - very conservative, had small farms and capital, oldest and least educated