Posted in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Healthresearchers have found that problematic smartphone use is linked to low self-esteem as well as negative cognitive outcomes.
The majority of people who live in industrialized countries have smartphones. The fear of being without your smartphone is known as “nomophobia” and has become a social problem. Research shows that people who have smartphone addiction tend to report more loneliness and experience self-regulation deficits.
Additionally, people who have a smartphone addiction are likely to experience withdrawal symptoms when their smartphone use is restricted. Researchers Rosa Fabio, Alessia Stracuzzi and Riccardo Lo Faro are interested in studying the relationship between smartphone use and behavioral and cognitive deficits in self-control.
Fabio and his colleagues recruited 111 participants, aged 18 to 65. Twenty-eight percent of participants were students and 78% were workers. Each participant’s phone data was retrieved through the “SocialStatsApp” which provides information on the use of TikTok, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.
The Smartphone Addiction Scale – Short Version (SAS-SV) was used to determine each participant’s risk of smartphone addiction and severity. Participants also responded to items on the short version of the General Psychological Well-Being Index, the Fear of Missing Out Scale, and the Procrastination Scale.
This study consisted of three phases: a pre-test phase, an experimental phase and a post-test phase. For the pre-test phase, Fabio and his colleagues assessed each participant’s baseline smartphone usage through SocialStatsApp. For the experimental phase, participants were asked to limit their smartphone use to one hour per day for three consecutive days. For the post-test phase, participants were allowed to use their smartphones as they pleased for seven consecutive days.
The day before and after the experimental phase, the participants were assessed on working memory, attention, executive control, auditory reaction time, visual reaction time, the ability to inhibit the motor response and the behavioral inhibition.
The results show that participants who had higher levels of smartphone addiction had a higher percentage of non-compliance. Participants with higher levels of smartphone addiction spent more time using their phones in all three phases, even when asked to limit their smartphone use during the experimental phase.
The results also show that participants with higher levels of smartphone addiction tended to exhibit lower working memory, visual reaction time, auditory reaction time, ability to inhibit motor response, and behavioral inhibition. those of participants with lower levels of smartphone addiction.
There were no significant differences in performance on these measures for each participant between the pre-test phase and the post-test phase. Finally, participants with higher levels of smartphone addiction scored lower on the general psychological well-being index and higher on the fear of missing out scale and the procrastination scale.
Fabio and his colleagues say their findings show that people with high levels of smartphone addiction display less self-control. Poor self-regulation could have negative consequences for people’s daily lives, such as impairments in cognitive tasks and slower reaction times. Researchers further claim that people with less smartphone dependence have better perceptions of their overall well-being and quality of life, as these participants display less procrastination behaviors and less fear of being left out.
A limitation of this study is that some of the original participants left the study when they discovered that they would have to limit their smartphone use to one hour per day for three consecutive days. faded away. Fabio and his colleagues recommend that future research investigate people with high levels of smartphone addiction and their withdrawal effects.
The study was titled: “Problematic smartphone use leads to behavioral and cognitive self-control deficits”.
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