A study conducted by researchers from the Baylo University in Waco, Texas found a link between the number of times a person checks his phone and his psychological state of mind. This research is of high importance because most people these days are addicted to their phones. A survey conducted by Huffington Post last year revealed that nearly one third of the smartphone users were addicted to their phones. The researchers through their study looked into different aspects of one’s personality and how phone usage affects them. They found that people use the phone as a means to alter their mood. Hence, constantly checking the phone could mean one is going through some emotional problem. Furthermore, the research found that those who were addicted to their phone and used it relentlessly were more prone to moodiness, emotional instability and experienced problems concentrating on tasks, reports Daily Mail. For the study, 346 college students were given a questionnaire to complete. They were asked about their phone usage habits and emotional state of mind. The questionnaire analysed personality traits such as conscientiousness, neuroticism, openness, agreeableness, extraversion, materialism and need for arousal. At the end of the study, they found that those who were addicted to phones had lower attention spans. Researchers dubbed this as ‘attention impulsiveness,’ which is the inability to concentrate on a given task. They also found that conscientiousness and introversion was not linked to phone addiction. In contrast to the notion that introverts are more addicted to their phones, researchers state that the opposite as true. They stated that extroverts were more likely to get addicted to their phones.
There was a two way connection between phone usage and a person’s personality. While those who were emotionally unstable looked at their phones often, it was also seen that those who were addicted to their phones became impulsive and moody. “Much like a variety of substance addictions, cell phone addiction may be an attempt at mood repair,” the study’s authors wrote. “Incessant checking of emails, sending texts, tweeting, and surfing the web may act as pacifiers for the unstable individual distracting him or herself from the worries of the day and providing solace, albeit temporarily, from such concerns.” The study was published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences.
This article first appeared IBT, 22 February 2015.