Are smartphones really that bad? Improving the psychological measurement of technology-related behaviors

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Understanding how people use technology remains important, particularly when measuring the impact this might have on individuals and society. To date, research within psychological science often frames new technology as problematic with overwhelmingly negative consequences. However, this paper argues that the latest generation of psychometric tools, which aim to assess smartphone usage, are unable to capture technology related experiences or behaviors. As a result, many conclusions concerning the psychological impact of technology use remain unsound. Current assessments have also failed to keep pace with new methodological developments and these data-intensive approaches challenge the notion that smartphones and related technologies are inherently problematic. The field should now consider how it might re-position itself conceptually and methodologically given that many ‘addictive’ technologies have long since become intertwined with daily life.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-66
Number of pages7
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Volume97
Early online date8 Mar 2019
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Mar 2019

Keywords

  • behavioral analytics
  • psychometrics
  • smartphones
  • technology use

Cite this

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title = "Are smartphones really that bad?: Improving the psychological measurement of technology-related behaviors",
abstract = "Understanding how people use technology remains important, particularly when measuring the impact this might have on individuals and society. To date, research within psychological science often frames new technology as problematic with overwhelmingly negative consequences. However, this paper argues that the latest generation of psychometric tools, which aim to assess smartphone usage, are unable to capture technology related experiences or behaviors. As a result, many conclusions concerning the psychological impact of technology use remain unsound. Current assessments have also failed to keep pace with new methodological developments and these data-intensive approaches challenge the notion that smartphones and related technologies are inherently problematic. The field should now consider how it might re-position itself conceptually and methodologically given that many ‘addictive’ technologies have long since become intertwined with daily life.",
keywords = "behavioral analytics, psychometrics, smartphones, technology use",
author = "Ellis, {David Alexander}",
note = "This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Computers in Human Behavior. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Computers in Human Behavior, 97, 2019 DOI: 10.1016/j.chb.2019.03.006",
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AU - Ellis, David Alexander

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N2 - Understanding how people use technology remains important, particularly when measuring the impact this might have on individuals and society. To date, research within psychological science often frames new technology as problematic with overwhelmingly negative consequences. However, this paper argues that the latest generation of psychometric tools, which aim to assess smartphone usage, are unable to capture technology related experiences or behaviors. As a result, many conclusions concerning the psychological impact of technology use remain unsound. Current assessments have also failed to keep pace with new methodological developments and these data-intensive approaches challenge the notion that smartphones and related technologies are inherently problematic. The field should now consider how it might re-position itself conceptually and methodologically given that many ‘addictive’ technologies have long since become intertwined with daily life.

AB - Understanding how people use technology remains important, particularly when measuring the impact this might have on individuals and society. To date, research within psychological science often frames new technology as problematic with overwhelmingly negative consequences. However, this paper argues that the latest generation of psychometric tools, which aim to assess smartphone usage, are unable to capture technology related experiences or behaviors. As a result, many conclusions concerning the psychological impact of technology use remain unsound. Current assessments have also failed to keep pace with new methodological developments and these data-intensive approaches challenge the notion that smartphones and related technologies are inherently problematic. The field should now consider how it might re-position itself conceptually and methodologically given that many ‘addictive’ technologies have long since become intertwined with daily life.

KW - behavioral analytics

KW - psychometrics

KW - smartphones

KW - technology use

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