Acceptance of ChatGPT by undergraduates in Sri Lanka: a hybrid approach of SEM-ANN

Samsudeen Sabraz Nawaz, Mohamed Buhary Fathima Sanjeetha, Ghadah Al Murshidi, Mohamed Ismail Mohamed Riyath, Fadhilah Bt Mat Yamin, Rusith Mohamed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: This study aims to investigate Sri Lankan Government university students’ acceptance of Chat Generative Pretrained Transformer (ChatGPT) for educational purposes. Using the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology 2 (UTAUT2) model as the primary theoretical lens, this study incorporated personal innovativeness as both a dependent and moderating variable to understand students’ ChatGPT use behaviour. Design/methodology/approach: This quantitative study used a questionnaire survey to collect data. A total of 500 legitimate undergraduates from 17 government universities in Sri Lanka were selected for this study. Items for the variables were adopted from previously validated instruments. Partial least squares structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM) using SmartPLS 4 was used to investigate latent constructs’ relationships. Furthermore, the variables’ relative relevance was ranked using a two-stage artificial neural network analysis with the SPSS 27 application. Findings: The results of the analysis revealed that eight of the nine proposed hypotheses were confirmed. The most significant determinants of behavioural intention were habit and performance expectancy, closely followed by hedonic motivation and perceived ease of use. Use behaviour was highly influenced by both behavioural intention and personal inventiveness. Though personal innovativeness (PI) was suggested as a moderator, the relationship was not significant. Research limitations/implications: The research highlights the impact of habit, performance expectancy and perceived ease of use on students’ acceptance of AI applications such as ChatGPT, emphasising the need for efficient implementation techniques, individual variations in technology adoption and continuous support and training to improve students’ proficiency. Originality/value: This study enhances the comprehension of how undergraduate students adopt ChatGPT in an educational setting. The study emphasises the significance of certain variables in the UTAUT2 model and the importance of PI in influencing the adoption of ChatGPT in educational environments.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInteractive Technology and Smart Education
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024


  • Artificial intelligence
  • Artificial neural network
  • ChatGPT
  • Personal innovativeness
  • Sri Lanka

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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