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

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21 Citations (Scopus)


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
Early online date8 Mar 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Mar 2019


  • behavioral analytics
  • psychometrics
  • smartphones
  • technology use

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