A Brief Review of Addictive Tendencies Related to Technology Use: Conceptualization, Treatment, and Future Directions

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Authors:
Stephen D. Berry, Arkansas State University, USA
Makenna L. McGowen, Arkansas State University, USA
Sharon J. Davis, Arkansas State University, USA
Email: stephen.berry@smail.astate.edu
Published: May 12, 2019
https://doi.org/10.22492/ijpbs.5.1.03

Citation: Berry, S. D., McGowen, M. L., & Davis, S. J. (2019). A Brief Review of Addictive Tendencies Related to Technology Use: Conceptualization, Treatment, and Future Directions. IAFOR Journal of Psychology & the Behavioral Sciences, 5(1). https://doi.org/10.22492/ijpbs.5.1.03


Abstract

Addictive tendencies relating to technology use entail the overuse and misuse of physical and digital devices to the point of maladjustment. Such tendencies, which can arise from video game use, mobile phone use, Internet use, and media streaming/television use, have major implications regarding people’s physiological and psychological states. Although prior research helped with the conceptual and empirical understanding of technology use, these had major limitations. Such limitations included inconsistent terminology (e.g., technology use disorder versus technological addictions), a lack of standardized criteria to diagnose or recognize addictive tendencies of technology use, differences in methodology (e.g., longitudinal studies, experimental studies, case studies, correlational studies), and construct proliferation (e.g., smartphone addiction, young adult attachment to phone). In addition, little research has been conducted regarding the effectiveness of treatments (e.g., psychopharmacological treatments) for tendencies of technology use. Studies regarding treatment efficacy have primarily been limited to case studies with small sample sizes. Ultimately, it is recommended that researchers form a unified front to address these addictive tendencies through consistent theoretical models, research, and criteria.

Keywords

technology use, video games, mobile phones, Internet, addictive behavior, mental health