Moody? Jealous? Lonely? Blame it all on your phone

  • PTI, London
  • Updated: Mar 06, 2015 13:08 IST

If you cannot stop gloating about your smartphone, you'd do well to read this. Smartphone addiction is linked to higher levels of narcissism and negative personality traits such as moodiness, jealousy and loneliness, a new UK study has found.

Dr Zaheer Hussain, lecturer in Psychology at University of Derby, conducted what is believed to be the UK's first research study into smartphone addiction and its related psychological characteristics which shows the more you use a smartphone, the higher your risk of becoming addicted. "The study informs us about smartphone overuse and the impact on psychological well-being. We now use smartphones on a daily basis and for various tasks so being aware of the psychological effects is very important," Hussain said.

"There are various smartphone apps such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Candy Crush, as well as Skype and email that make smartphone use psychologically more attractive and can lead to addiction," he said.

The results of the study showed that 13% of participants were classified as being addicted, with the average user spending 3.6 hours per day on the device. The research also advises that prospective buyers of smartphones should be pre-warned of the potential addictive properties of new technology.

The psychological characteristics of smartphone addiction are particularly interesting, Hussain said. "Higher scores of narcissism (excessive interest or admiration of oneself and one's physical appearance) and levels of neuroticism (negative personality traits including moodiness, jealousy, envy and loneliness) were linked to smartphone addiction," Hussain added.

"A significant positive relationship was found between narcissism and addiction to the phones, suggesting that the more narcissistic a person is, the more likely they are to be
addicted to their smartphone. "When the participants were asked if they used their phone in banned areas, 35% answered yes," he said.

Social networking sites were the most popularly used apps (87%), followed by instant messaging apps (52%) and then news apps (51%). Despite 46.8% of participants speaking positively of improved social relations, 23.5% admitted their smartphones create communication issues within 'real life'.

The research is published in the International Journal of Cyber Behaviour, Psychology and Learning (IJCBPL).

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