In a recently published paper, researchers from the UK have claimed that prior studies have relied on flawed measures to understand the impact on technology on psychological well-being. According to the researchers, although most of the studies are conducted based on survey results from people’s feedback on smartphone usage, those feedbacks often translate to unreliable smartphone usage.
In order to find out the possible impacts of smartphones on people, UK’s Parliament’s Science and Technology Committee took a look into users’ social media usage and its impact on the health. During the course of the research, the group examined people’s smartphone usage on based on 10 addiction surveys which are related to Smartphone Addiction Scale and the Mobile Phone Problem Use Scale.
After analyzing the data, the researchers found that people often miscalculate their smartphone usage. Talking about the findings, Brittany Davidson from Lancaster University said, “Our results suggest that the majority of these self-report smartphone assessments perform poorly when attempting to predict real-world behavior. We need to revisit and improve these measurements moving forward.”
“Scales that focus on the notion of technology ‘addiction’ performed very poorly and were unable to classify people into different groups (e.g., high vs low use) based on their behavior.”
In the past, high amount of smartphone usage has often attributed to anxiety and depression. However, the latest findings suggest that researchers interested in understanding the role of technology on mental health might need to reconsider their approach going forward.