Cyberpsychology is a recently emergent field that examines the impact of technology upon human cognition and behavior. Given its infancy, authors have rapidly created new measures to gauge their constructs of interest. Unfortunately, few of these authors have had the opportunity to test their scales' psychometric properties and validity. This is concerning, as many theoretical assumptions may be founded upon scales with inadequate attributes. If this were found to be true, then previous findings in cyberpsychology studies would need to be retested, and future research would need to shift its focus to creating psychometrically sound and valid measures. To provide inferences on this concern, the current study examines the article reporting, scale creation, and scale reliabilities of every article published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking from its inception to July 2014. The final data set encompassed the coding of 1,478 individual articles, including 921 scales, and spanning 17 years. The results demonstrate that the simple survey methodology has become more popular over time. Authors are gradually applying empirically tested scales. However, self-created measures are still the most popular, leading to concerns about the measures' validity. Also, the use of multi-item measures has increased over time, but many articles still fail to report adequate information to assess the reliability of the applied scales. Lastly, the average scale reliability is 0.81, which barely meets standard cutoffs. Overall, these results are not overly concerning, but suggestions are given on methods to improve the reporting of measures, the creation of scales, and the state of cyberpsychology.
Eleven Vietnam veterans with war-related posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were randomly assigned to 10 sessions of either virtual reality exposure (VRE) therapy within a computer-generated virtual Vietnam environment or present-centered therapy (PCT) that avoided traumatic content and utilized a problem-solving approach. Participants were assessed at pretreatment, posttreatment, and 6 months posttreatment by an independent assessor blind to treatment condition. Nine participants completed treatment with one dropout per condition. No significant differences emerged between treatments, likely due to insufficient power. Although comparison of mean changes in PTSD symptoms for the VRE and PCT conditions yielded a moderate effect size (d = 0.56) in favor of VRE at 6 months posttreatment, changes in PTSD scores were more variable, and therefore less reliable, within the VRE condition. The utility of VRE with older veterans with PTSD is discussed.
Abstract A three-wave, longitudinal study examined the long-term trajectory of problem gaming symptoms among adult regular video gamers. Potential changes in problem gaming status were assessed at two intervals using an online survey over an 18-month period. Participants (N=117) were recruited by an advertisement posted on the public forums of multiple Australian video game-related websites. Inclusion criteria were being of adult age and having a video gaming history of at least 1 hour of gaming every week over the past 3 months. Two groups of adult video gamers were identified: those players who did (N=37) and those who did not (N=80) identify as having a serious gaming problem at the initial survey intake. The results showed that regular gamers who self-identified as having a video gaming problem at baseline reported more severe problem gaming symptoms than normal gamers, at all time points. However, both groups experienced a significant decline in problem gaming symptoms over an 18-month period, controlling for age, video gaming activity, and psychopathological symptoms.
Abstract Casual video games (CVGs) are becoming increasingly popular among middle-aged and older adults, yet there are few studies documenting why adults of different ages play these games, what benefits they perceive, and how regularly they play. The present study compared the online survey responses of 10,308 adults ranging from 18 to 80 years of age to questions regarding PopCap's popular free online game, Bejeweled Blitz (BJB). All respondents cited playing against friends as their main reason for playing. However, there were differences by age in the second most frequently cited reason. Middle-aged adults cited stress relief, and older adults reported that they seek the game's challenges. As a result of playing CVGs, younger adults noted that they felt sharper and experienced improved memory; older adults were more likely to feel that their visuospatial skills and response time benefited. Adults aged 60 and older had heavier patterns of game play than did adults under the age of 60 years. A significant number of respondents (14.7%) spontaneously noted that they felt that BJB had addictive qualities. CVG players seem to be drawn into this activity by its social nature and to a certain extent by its reinforcing properties. Once involved, however, they believe that they derive a number of benefits that, for older adults, appear to offset declines in age-sensitive cognitive functions.
Through their features--such as profile photographs or the personal vita--online profiles on social-networking sites offer a perfect basis for social comparison processes. By looking at the profile photograph, the user gains an impression of a person's physical attractiveness, and the user's vita shows which career path the person is pursuing. Against the background of Festinger's Social Comparison Theory, the focus of this research is on the effects of online profiles on their recipients. Therefore, qualitative interviews (N = 12) and two online experiments were conducted in which virtual online profiles of either physically attractive or unattractive persons (N = 93) and profiles of users with either high or low occupational attainment (N = 103) were presented to the participants. Although qualitative interviews did not initially give reason to expect online profiles to constitute a basis for comparison processes, results of the experiments proved otherwise. The first study indicates that recipients have a more negative body image after looking at beautiful users than persons who were shown the less attractive profile pictures. Male participants of the second study, who were confronted with profiles of successful males, showed a higher perceived discrepancy between their current career status and an ideal vita than male participants who looked at profiles of less successful persons.
Online social networking sites have revealed an entirely new method of self-presentation. This cyber social tool provides a new site of analysis to examine personality and identity. The current study examines how narcissism and self-esteem are manifested on the social networking Web site Facebook.com . Self-esteem and narcissistic personality self-reports were collected from 100 Facebook users at York University. Participant Web pages were also coded based on self-promotional content features. Correlation analyses revealed that individuals higher in narcissism and lower in self-esteem were related to greater online activity as well as some self-promotional content. Gender differences were found to influence the type of self-promotional content presented by individual Facebook users. Implications and future research directions of narcissism and self-esteem on social networking Web sites are discussed.
Student ratings have been a controversial but important method for the improvement of teaching quality during the past several decades. Most universities rely on summative evaluations conducted at the end of a term or course. A formative approach in which each course unit is evaluated may be beneficial for students and teachers but has rarely been applied. This is most probably due to the time constraints associated with various procedures inherent in formative evaluation (numerous evaluations, high amounts of aggregated data, high administrative investment). In order to circumvent these disadvantages, we chose the Web 2.0 Internet application Twitter as evaluation tool and tested whether it is useful for the implementation of a formative evaluation. After a first pilot and subsequent experimental study, the following conclusions were drawn: First, the formative evaluation did not come to the same results as the summative evaluation at the end of term, suggesting that formative evaluations tap into different aspects of course evaluation than summative evaluations do. Second, the results from an offline (i.e., paper-pencil) summative evaluation were identical with those from an online summative evaluation of the same course conducted a week later. Third, the formative evaluation did not influence the ratings of the summative evaluation at the end of the term. All in all, we can conclude that Twitter is a useful tool for evaluating a course formatively (i.e., on a weekly basis). Because of Twitter's simple use and the electronic handling of data, the administrative effort remains small.
Abstract Although social networking sites (SNS) have become increasingly prevalent and integrated into the lives of users, the role of SNS in courtship is relatively unknown. The present manuscript reports on the characteristics of Americans married between 2005 and 2012 who met through SNS drawn from a weighted national sample (N=18,527). Compared to other online meetings (i.e., dating sites, online communities, one-on-one communication), individuals who met through SNS were younger, married more recently, and were more likely to be African American. Compared with offline meetings, individuals who met through SNS were more likely to be younger, male, African American and Hispanic, married more recently, and frequent Internet users with higher incomes. Trends suggest an increasing proportion of individuals are meeting using SNS, necessitating further research on factors that influence romantic relational development through SNS.
In the 2008 U.S. presidential election, social network sites such as Facebook allowed users to share their political beliefs, support specific candidates, and interact with others on political issues. But do political activities on Facebook affect political participation among young voters, a group traditionally perceived as apathetic in regard to civic engagement? Or do these activities represent another example of feel-good participation that has little real-world impact, a concept often referred to as "slacktivism"? Results from a survey of undergraduate students (N = 683) at a large public university in the Midwestern United States conducted in the month prior to the election found that students tend to engage in lightweight political participation both on Facebook and in other venues. Furthermore, two OLS regressions found that political activity on Facebook (e.g., posting a politically oriented status update, becoming a "fan" of a candidate) is a significant predictor of other forms of political participation (e.g., volunteering for an organizing, signing a paper or online petition), and that a number of factors--including intensity of Facebook use and the political activity users see their friends performing on the site--predict political activity on Facebook. Students' perceptions regarding the appropriateness of political activity on Facebook, as well as the specific kinds of political activities they engaged in and witnessed within the site, were also explored.
Abstract Although communication technology is beneficial to maintain important close relationships, not all findings suggest that communication technology use between college students and their parents is indicative of positive adjustment or relational qualities. A study in 2009 found that only 24.2% of college students used a social networking site (SNS) to communicate with a parent, yet those students reported more loneliness, anxious attachment, and conflict with their parent (Gentzler et al., 2011 ). Because technology and trends in use change rapidly, we investigated a new cohort of college students 2 years later to determine if rates of using communication technology with parents and their links to student adjustment have changed. Comparisons between 2009 and 2011 samples indicated that in-person contact and telephone use did not vary across cohorts. However, texting and SNS use with parents became more common, and using e-mail with parents declined. Consistent with the 2009 data, students' phone use with parents was related to positive relationship qualities (satisfaction, intimacy, support, instrumental aid). In the new 2011 sample, e-mail was linked to aid. However, the present findings indicate students' SNS use with parents is no longer linked to maladaptive outcomes. The study highlights how quickly the use and implications of communication technology changes, and suggests that communication patterns may reflect broader psychosocial adjustment and parent-child dynamics.
The influence of Facebook in social life keeps constantly growing. Recently, the communication of information has been vital to the success of the Tunisian revolution, and Facebook was its main "catalyst." This study examines the key reasons that explain Facebook's contribution to this historical event, as perceived by Tunisian Internet users. To do so, we launched this study 5 days after the fall of the regime using an online questionnaire in which participants (N=333) first rated the importance of Facebook in the Tunisian revolution and then explained the reasons for their ratings. A cluster analysis based on the Euclidean distance between the most frequent words in the participants' text corpus (6,640 words), revealed three main clusters that we interpret as follows: 1: Facebook political function, 2: Facebook informational function, and 3: Facebook media platform function. It is likely that these factors reflect the dynamic of Tunisian cyberspace and the Tunisian Internet users' collective consciousness during the revolution.
Abstract Internet addiction (IA) has emerged as a universal issue, but its international estimates vary vastly. This multinational meta-analysis fills this gap by providing estimates of its global prevalence. Two hypotheses were formulated to explain the cross-national variations. The accessibility hypothesis predicts that IA prevalence is positively related to Internet penetration rate and GDP per capita, whereas the quality of (real) life hypothesis predicts that IA prevalence is inversely related to a global national index of life satisfaction and specific national indices of environmental quality. Multiple search strategies were used in an attempt to retrieve all empirical reports from 1996 to 2012 that adopted the Young Diagnostic Questionnaire or Internet Addiction Test for assessing generalized IA. The data set comprised 164 prevalence figures derived from 80 reports, including 89,281 participants from 31 nations across seven world regions. A random effects meta-analysis showed a global prevalence estimate of 6.0% [95% CI 5.1-6.9], with moderate heterogeneity (I(2)=44%, p<0.0001). The highest prevalence was in the Middle East with 10.9% [95% CI 5.4-16.3], and the lowest was in Northern and Western Europe with 2.6% [95% CI 1.0-4.1]. Moreover, IA prevalence was higher for nations with greater traffic time consumption, pollution, and dissatisfaction with life in general. The prevalence rate of IA varies across world regions. IA prevalence is inversely associated with the quality of life, as reflected by both subjective (life satisfaction) and objective (quality of environmental conditions) indicators.
Virtual-reality (VR) therapy has been distinguished from other psychotherapy interventions through the use of computer-assisted interventions that rely on the concepts of "immersion," "presence," and "synchrony." In this work, these concepts are defined, and their uses, within the VR treatment architecture, are discussed. VR therapy's emphasis on the incorporation of biofeedback and meditation, as a component of the VR treatment architecture, is also reviewed. A growing body of research has documented VR therapy as a successful treatment for combat-related Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The VR treatment architecture, utilized to treat 30 warriors diagnosed with combat-related PTSD, is summarized. Lastly, case summaries of two warriors successfully treated with VR therapy are included to assist with the goal of better understanding a VR treatment architecture paradigm. Continued validation of the VR treatment model is encouraged.
Interactive three-dimensional (3D) virtual environments like Second Life have great potential as venues for effective e-health marketing and e-brand management. Drawing from regulatory focus and interactivity literatures, this study examined the effects of the regulatory fit that consumers experience in interactive e-health marketing on their brand satisfaction and brand trust. The results of a two-group comparison experiment conducted within Second Life revealed that consumers in the regulatory fit condition show greater brand satisfaction and brand trust than those in the regulatory misfit condition, thus confirming the persuasive influence of regulatory fit in e-brand management inside 3D virtual worlds. In addition, a structural equation modeling analysis demonstrated the mediating role of consumers' perceived interactivity in explaining the processional link between regulatory fit and brand evaluation. Theoretical contributions and managerial implications of these findings are discussed.
This study gauged the effects of force feedback in the Novint Falcon haptics system on the sensory and cognitive dimensions of a virtual test-driving experience. First, in order to explore the effects of tactile stimuli with force feedback on users' sensory experience, feelings of physical presence (the extent to which virtual physical objects are experienced as actual physical objects) were measured after participants used the haptics interface. Second, to evaluate the effects of force feedback on the cognitive dimension of consumers' virtual experience, this study investigated brand personality perception. The experiment utilized the Novint Falcon haptics controller to induce immersive virtual test-driving through tactile stimuli. The author designed a two-group (haptics stimuli with force feedback versus no force feedback) comparison experiment (N = 238) by manipulating the level of force feedback. Users in the force feedback condition were exposed to tactile stimuli involving various force feedback effects (e.g., terrain effects, acceleration, and lateral forces) while test-driving a rally car. In contrast, users in the control condition test-drove the rally car using the Novint Falcon but were not given any force feedback. Results of ANOVAs indicated that (a) users exposed to force feedback felt stronger physical presence than those in the no force feedback condition, and (b) users exposed to haptics stimuli with force feedback perceived the brand personality of the car to be more rugged than those in the control condition. Managerial implications of the study for product trial in the business world are discussed.
Abstract The eye movements and penile responses of 20 male participants were recorded while they were immersed with virtual sexual stimuli. These participants were divided into two groups according to their capacity to focus their attention in immersion (high and low focus). In order to understand sexual self-regulation better, we subjected participants to three experimental conditions: (a) immersion with a preferred sexual stimulus, without sexual inhibition; (b) immersion with a preferred sexual stimulus, with sexual inhibition; and (c) immersion with a neutral stimulus. A significant difference was observed between the effects of each condition on erectile response and scanpath. The groups differed on self-regulation of their erectile responses and on their scanpath patterns. High focus participants had more difficulties than low focus participants with inhibiting their sexual responses and displayed less scattered eye movement trajectories over the critical areas of the virtual sexual stimuli. Results are interpreted in terms of sexual self-regulation and cognitive absorption in virtual immersion. In addition, the use of validated virtual sexual stimuli is presented as a methodological improvement over static and moving pictures, since it paves the way for the study of the role of social interaction in an ecologically valid and well-controlled way.
The present study investigated the relationship among different kinds of immersive or involving activities: videogaming (VG), psychological absorption, and daydreaming styles. Involvement with VG was ascertained through a new measure, the Videogame Experience Questionnaire (VEQ). Participants (N = 74) also completed the Tellegen Absorption Scale and the Short Imaginal Processes Inventory. Factor analysis of the VEQ yielded four factors. Psychological absorption is not related to level of self-reported engagement in VG, but specific daydreaming styles are related to specific factors of the VEQ. Positive/constructive daydreaming is related to VG Engagement. Guilt/fear/failure daydreaming is related to Social/Emotional Interference from VG. Interference with performance of responsibilities attributed to VG is related to poor attentional control daydreaming. Implications of the findings are discussed.
In the great expansion of the social networking activity, young people are the main users whose choices have vast influence. This study uses the flow theory to gauge the impact of Facebook usage on Tunisian students' achievements, with the presumption that the high usage level might reduce students' scholar achievements. The research design suggests that this impact would vary among students with different interests for the university and multitasking capabilities. Facebook usage would develop students' satisfaction with friends and family, which could enhance their academic performance. Analyses from 161 Tunisian students show that Facebook usage does not affect significantly students' academic performance and their satisfaction with the family, whereas it decreases their actual satisfaction with friends. Yet, a high level of satisfaction of the student with his family continues to enhance his academic performance. Overall, though, Facebook usage appears to do not have a significant effect on undergraduate students' academic performance. However, this interdependency is significantly moderated by the student's interest for the university and his multitasking capabilities. Students with multitasking skills and students with initial interest for the university might experience a positive effect of Facebook usage on their studies, as they keep control over their activity and make it a beneficial leisure activity. However, students who do not have these characteristics tend to not have any significant effect. Results help to understand the psychological attitude and consequent behavior of the youths on this platform. Implications, limitations, and further research directions are offered.
Abstract Two studies examined men's interventions in a virtual reality situation involving child grooming. In Study 1, 92 men observed an online encounter between an apparent minor and a sex offender. The results suggest that the bystander effect was stronger under computerized rather than user-assisted surveillance, and when the fellow cyberbystander was unknown rather than known. In Study 2, where 100 men observed the same encounter, the effect also emerged under computerized surveillance as long as the number unknown cyberbystanders was increased. Thus, vesting more responsibility for security in the average netizen rather than just in the automated abuse-detection technology is cautiously suggested, the relevance of which lies in increasing minors' health and safety.
The self-discrepancy theory argues that perceived discrepancy between one's actual self and ideal self may induce anxiety, and that this in turn may motivate people to reduce or eliminate this perceived discrepancy by changing their behaviors. Based on this theory, this study investigated how college students perceived discrepancies between their actual and their reported ideal uses of the Internet. Their Internet use was examined on three levels: the grand level (i.e., hours spent online per week), the activity level (i.e., hours spent engaging in certain online activities per week), and the tool level (i.e., hours spent using certain Internet tools per week). Three particular factors were also selected for investigation: the participants' different desktop practices, levels of academic training, and exertions of self-control. The results indicate that the participants' perceptions of actual versus ideal discrepancies were shaped by the different levels (i.e., grand, activity, tool) of their Internet use. Additionally, this study shows that perceived self-discrepancy relating to the time that college students spend on the Internet may not be a problem in itself, but it may symbolize more profound psychological or behavioral factors that need to be addressed.
This study presents the profiles of heavy Internet users and provides empirical evidence that it is not how much time university students spend online but what they do online that is associated with academic grades and psychological adjustment. Using a nationally representative sample from Taiwan, we employed K-mean cluster analysis and identified profiles based on nine Internet practices in which users engaged. Female heavy users favoring information seeking and chatting had better academic performance but tended to feel more depressed than nonheavy users, while those favoring information seeking, chatting, and online games had lower academic grades and greater loneliness, physical illness, and depression scores than nonheavy users. In contrast, only male heavy users favoring online games had lower academic grades, whereas those who favored information seeking, chatting, and online games were more likely than nonheavy users to feel physically ill and depressed.
Little is known about the influence of electronic media use on the academic and social lives of university students. Using time-diary and survey data, we explore the use of various types of electronic media among first-year students. Time-diary results suggest that the majority of students use electronic media to multitask. Robust regression results indicate a negative relationship between the use of various types of electronic media and first-semester grades. In addition, we find a positive association between social-networking-site use, cellular-phone communication, and face-to-face social interaction.
The aim of this study was to investigate whether demographic characteristics and sexual behavior online and offline were associated with private, respectively, nonprivate access to the Internet in a Web sample of people who use the Internet for sexual purposes. A total of 1,913 respondents completed an online questionnaire about Internet sexuality, and 1,614 reported using the Internet for sexual purposes. The majority of these respondents reported having access to an Internet-connected computer no one else had access to (62 percent women and 70 percent men). The results showed that it is possible to differentiate between those who have access to an Internet-connected computer no one else has access to and those who have shared access to an Internet-connected computer. Not only did they differ in demographic characteristics, but also in the sexual activities they engaged in on the Internet. Different patterns were found for women and men. For example, men who had private access to Internet-connected computers were more likely than those who had shared access to seek information about sexual issues. Thus, having access to Internet computers no one else has access to may promote sexual knowledge and health for men. The results of this study along with the technological development implies that in future research, attention should be paid to where and how people access the Internet in relation to online behavior in general and online sexual behavior in particular.
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a complex, multifaceted disorder encompassing behavioral, emotional, cognitive, and physiological factors. Although PTSD was only codified in 1980, there has been an increasing interest in this area of research. Unfortunately, relatively little attention has been given to the psychological treatment of motor vehicle accident survivors, which is remarkable because vehicular collisions are deemed the number one cause of PTSD. As the emotional consequences of vehicular collisions prevail, so does the need for more effective treatments. Randomized controlled clinical trials have identified exposure-based therapies as being the most efficacious for extinguishing fears. One type of exposure-based treatment, called virtual reality exposure therapy (VRET), provides a safe, controlled, and effective therapeutic alternative that is not dependent on real-life props, situations, or even a person's imagination capabilities. This modality, while relatively new, has been implemented successfully in the treatment of a variety of anxiety disorders and may offer a particularly beneficial and intermediary step for the treatment of collision-related PTSD. In particular, VRET combined with physiological monitoring and feedback provides a unique opportunity for individuals to objectively recognize both anxiety and relaxation; learn how to manage their anxiety during difficult, albeit simulated, driving conditions; and then transfer these skills onto real-life roadways.
Abstract Impulse purchasing is a pervasive yet relatively little-discussed phenomenon. This study investigates the effect of impulse purchases on trust, as well as the mediating effect of stickiness and the mental budgeting account in the group buying context. Questionnaires were sent to group buying participants. The results show that impulse purchases have a positive effect on trust and that both stickiness and the mental budgeting account present a mediating effect.
Due to advances in treatment and people living longer, chronic diseases are becoming more common amongst our population. This is contributing to the increasing burden on our current healthcare system.In order for us to reduce this burden and sufficiently meet the needs of this growing segment of the population,
healthcare organizations must have people take a more active role in their own health and well-being.
A critical step toward this goal is patient engagement. Here, we suggest conceptualizing patient engagement
as the experience resulting from the conjoint emotional (feel), cognitive (think), and conative (act) enactment of individuals in their management of the health issue. The lack of synergy among these dimensions inhibits patients from full engagement, limiting the benefit of healthcare programs. Technology may offer a solution to this shortcoming. ‘‘Positive Technology’’ focuses on the use of technology for improving the quality of our personal experience, suggesting specific strategies to modify/improve each of the different dimensions involved, and generating motivation and engagement in the process.
Badge systems, a common mechanism for gamification on social media platforms, provide a way for users to present their knowledge or experience to others. This study aims to contribute to the understanding of why social media users publicize their achievements in the form of online badges. Five motivational factors for badge display in public networked environments are distinguished-self-efficacy, social incentives, networked support, passing time, and inattentive sharing-and it is suggested that different badge types are associated with different motivations. System developers are advised to consider these components in their designs, applying the elements most appropriate to the communities they serve. Comparing user motivations associated with badges shared across boundaries provides a better understanding of how online badges relate to the larger social media ecosystem.
In many countries, undergraduates are required to take at least one introductory computer course to enhance their computer literacy and computing skills. However, the application software education in Taiwan can hardly be deemed as effective in developing students' practical computing skills. The author applied online self-regulated learning (SRL) and collaborative learning (CL) with initiation in a blended computing course and examined the effects of different combinations on enhancing students' computing skills. Four classes, comprising 221 students, participated in this study. The online SRL and CL with initiation (G1, n = 53), online CL with initiation (G2, n = 68), and online CL without initiation (G3, n = 68) were experimental groups, and the last class, receiving traditional lecture (G4, n = 32), was the control group. The results of this study show that students who received the intervention of online SRL and CL with initiation attained significantly best grades for practical computing skills, whereas those that received the traditional lectures had statistically poorest grades among the four classes. The implications for schools and educators who plan to provide online or blended learning for their students, particularly in computing courses, are also provided in this study.
Abstract Virtual training environments are appropriate to train complex tasks that require collaboration and interaction among the members of a team, especially if training in reality is not possible, too expensive or too dangerous. The field study reported in this paper compared three training conditions (virtual condition, standard condition, and control condition). The participants were police officers who were being trained in the communication between ground forces and a helicopter crew during an operation. This task (like many other tasks of the police, fire brigade and emergency services) is of high complexity and has no single "correct" solution, is based on specialization of tasks within a team, requires intensive communication among team members, and consists of situations in which human beings are in danger. Learning outcomes and knowledge transfer were measured as dependent variables. The results validate that virtual training was as efficient as standard training with regard to knowledge acquisition, and it was even more efficient with regard to knowledge transfer. With regard to the perceived value of the training, the participants judged standard training to be better than virtual training (except for training satisfaction, where no difference was found between standard and virtual training). These results indicate that virtual training is an effective tool for training in complex tasks that require collaboration and cannot fully be trained for in reality.
Abstract Several criteria have been proposed for defining cyberbullying to young people, but no studies have proved their relevance. There are also variations across different countries in the meaning and the definition of this behavior. We systematically investigated the role of five definitional criteria for cyberbullying, in six European countries. These criteria (intentionality, imbalance of power, repetition, anonymity, and public vs. private) were combined through a set of 32 scenarios, covering a range of four types of behaviors (written-verbal, visual, exclusion, and impersonation). For each scenario, participants were asked whether it was cyberbullying or not. A randomized version of the questionnaire was shown to 295 Italian, 610 Spanish, 365 German, 320 Sweden, 336 Estonian, and 331 French adolescents aged 11-17 years. Results from multidimensional scaling across country and type of behavior suggested a clear first dimension characterized by imbalance of power and a clear second dimension characterized by intentionality and, at a lower level, by anonymity. In terms of differences across types of behaviors, descriptive frequencies showed a more ambiguous role for exclusion as a form of cyberbullying, but general support was given to the relevance of the two dimensions across all the types of behavior. In terms of country differences, French participants more often perceived the scenarios as cyberbullying as compared with those in other countries, but general support was found for the relevance of the two dimensions across countries.
Many studies have investigated how different technological features impact the experience of playing video games, yet few have focused on how control schemes may affect the play experience. This research employed a between-subjects design to explore the relationship between the type of console played (Nintendo Wii, Playstation 2) and feelings of flow and enjoyment during the game-play experience. Results indicated that participants reported greater feelings of control and enjoyment with a traditional control scheme (Playstation 2) than with the more technologically advanced control scheme (Nintendo Wii). Further mediation analysis showed that enjoyment was driven by the sense of control that participants experienced and not simply by whether they won the game. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
Abstract Sexting, or the exchange of sexually explicit material via Internet social-networking site or mobile phone, is an increasingly prevalent behavior. The study sought to (1) identify expectancies regarding sexting behaviors, (2) examine how demographics (i.e., gender, sexual identity, relationship status) might be differentially related to sexting expectancies and behaviors, and (3) examine whether these concurrent relationships are consistent with a theoretical causal model in which sexting expectancies influence sexting behaviors. The sample consisted of 278 undergraduate students (mean age=21.0 years, SD=4.56; 53.8% female; 76.3% caucasian). Factor analyses supported the validity and reliability of the Sextpectancies Measure (α=0.85-0.93 across subscales) and indicated two expectancy domains each for both sending and receiving sexts: positive expectancies (sexual-related and affect-related) and negative expectancies. Males reported stronger positive expectancies (F=4.64, p=0.03) while females reported stronger negative expectancies (F=6.11, p=0.01) about receiving sexts. There were also differences across relationship status regarding negative expectancies (F=2.25, p=0.05 for sending; F=4.24, p=0.002 for receiving). There were also significant effects of positive (F=45.98, p<0.001 for sending, F=22.42, p<0.001 for receiving) and negative expectancies (F=36.65, p=0.02 sending, F=14.41, p<0.001 receiving) on sexting behaviors (η(2) from 0.04-0.13). College students reported both positive and negative sextpectancies, although sextpectancies and sexting varied significantly across gender, race, sexual identity, and relationship status. Concurrent relationships were consistent with the causal model of sextpectancies influencing sexting behaviors, and this study serves as the first test of this model, which could inform future prevention strategies to mitigate sexting risks.
The long- versus short-term effectiveness of empathy activation on reducing bystander behavior reinforcing cyberbullying was tested. The focus was on limiting the frequency of forwarding a message ridiculing a peer. Experimental research on adolescent students was conducted in conditions simulating online contact. The results confirmed the significance of cognitive empathy activated immediately prior to decision making on limiting involvement in reinforcing cyberbullying behavior. The long-term impact of empathy was markedly limited.
After the Internet Revolution, people have started to spend most of their everyday time online carrying out virtual activities. A limited number of studies tried to answer whether virtual activities match our real-world (RW) activities. Moreover, to our knowledge, there was no study that dealt with these interrelations between virtual and RW activities among the pathological and nonpathological users of the Internet (i.e. PIUs and NPIUs). The primary aim of this study was to fill this gap and to investigate the correlations between virtual-world (VW) and RW activities among PIUs and NPIUs. The secondary aim was to examine the perceptions of the Internet and motivations to go online for PIUs and NPIUs. The third aim was to compare virtual and RW activities across gender and age groups. The results indicated that correlations between most of the activities in RW and VW were high among men and women, among age groups, and also among PIUs and NPUs. However, beyond these similarities, perceptions of the Internet and motivations to browse into VW were differed among PIUs and NPIUs. In other words, PIUs, but not NPIUs, perceived VW activities more gratified and had motivations to go online for gratified functions.
Abstract Despite the fact that many adolescents spend much time on the Internet, it is unknown who engages in sexually related online activities (SROA) and how these affect adolescent sexual development. The present longitudinal study on 323 adolescents (51.1% girls) aimed to explore how peer attachment processes predicted both SROA and offline sexual behaviors at the age of 17, while also considering puberty and prior offline sexual experiences in order to elucidate potential similarities or differences. Findings based on hierarchical, binary logistic regression analyses revealed that SROA were predicted by alienation attachment to peers (OR=3.36, p<0.05), puberty (OR=1.03, p<0.05), and prior SROA (OR=0.56, p<0.001), while only previous offline sexual experiences at the age of 15 increased the likelihood of offline sexual behaviors at the age of 17 (OR=6.04, p<0.001). Study findings indicate that the Internet provides an additional context for acquiring sexual experiences during adolescence.
This study examines whether social activities with parents, online and offline social self-efficacy, and attitudes toward gaming are associated with the degree of game addiction among adolescents. Using data from a survey of 600 middle- and high-school students in South Korea, we tested the relationships of personal characteristics (grade point average and time spent on gaming each day), social self-efficacy (both on- and offline), general social activities (with parents, friends, and teachers), gaming activities with parents, and attitudes toward gaming (those of self, parents, friends, and teachers) with the degree of game addiction. In addition, we conducted ANOVA tests to determine the differences among three groups: non-addicts (NA), possible (mild or moderate) addicts (PA), and Internet addicts (IA). The results show that social self-efficacy in the real world (offline) was negatively related with the degree of game addiction, whereas social self-efficacy in the virtual world (online) indicated a positive association. Social activities with parents are negatively associated with game addiction, although no relationship is found between gaming activities with parents and game addiction. Parental attitude toward gaming has a negative relationship with the addiction. Results and implications are discussed.
Abstract Relational maintenance is connected to high quality friendships. Friendship maintenance behaviors may occur online via social networking sites. This study utilized an Actor-Partner Interdependence Model to examine how Facebook maintenance and surveillance affect friendship quality. Bryant and Marmo's (2012) Facebook maintenance scale was evaluated, revealing two factors: sharing and caring. Facebook surveillance was also measured. For friendship satisfaction and liking, significant positive actor and partner effects emerged for caring; significant negative actor, partner, and interaction effects emerged for sharing; and significant positive actor effects emerged for surveillance. For friendship closeness, significant positive actor effects emerged for caring and surveillance.
Abstract This study examined the role of display size and mode in increasing users' sense of being together with and of their psychological immersion in a virtual character. Using a high-resolution three-dimensional virtual character, this study employed a 2×2 (stereoscopic mode vs. monoscopic mode×actual human size vs. small size display) factorial design in an experiment with 144 participants randomly assigned to each condition. Findings showed that stereoscopic mode had a significant effect on both users' sense of being together and psychological immersion. However, display size affected only the sense of being together. Furthermore, display size was not found to moderate the effect of stereoscopic mode.
This study examined whether actual-ideal self-discrepancy (AISD) is related to pathological gaming through escapism as a means of reducing depression for adolescent massively multiplayer online gamers. A Discrepancy-reduction Motivation model of pathological video gaming was tested. A survey was conducted on 161 adolescent gamers from secondary schools. Two mediation effects were tested using path analysis: (a) depression would mediate the relationship between AISDs and escapism, and (b) escapism would mediate the relationship between depression and pathological gaming. Results support the hypotheses stated above. The indirect effects of both AISD and depression were significant on pathological gaming. AISD and escapism also had direct effects on pathological gaming. The present study suggests that pathological behaviors may be over-regulated coping strategies of approaching the ideal self and avoiding the actual self.
The purpose of this study was to adapt the Internet Addiction Scale (IAS) for Turkish-language use and test the validity and reliability of the scale. This study was conducted in four phases: (a) translation, (b) validity and reliability, (c) discriminant validity, and (d) test-retest reliability of the IAS. To examine language equivalence, both Turkish and original versions of the IAS were administered to students studying English-language education. Since the questionnaire has high levels of language equivalence, validity and reliability studies were conducted. To determine construct validity, exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses were employed. To ascertain reliability, internal consistency and test-retest analysis were conducted. Results demonstrate that the Turkish version of the IAS is a valid and reliable measure.
This paper investigates Internet-usage patterns of immigrants, and seeks to identify the correlation between Internet use and intercultural adaptation. The study focuses on mainland Chinese immigrants in Singapore, and was conducted via a nationwide telephone survey. The results show that immigrants tend to change their preferences on Internet use to reflect their residence in the host country. In particular, the longer an immigrant resides in the host country, the less likely they would be to surf their original country's websites and the more likely they would be to communicate with local people via the Internet. More importantly, differences in Internet usage are found to have a significant impact on immigrants' intercultural adaptation. In an online environment, the social communication in the host country is a critical component that can facilitate or impede immigrants' successful adaptation to the host country, whereas ethnic social communication also plays a role at the initial stage of transition.
The significant proportion of severe psychological problems related to intensive stress in recent large peacekeeping operations underscores the importance of effective methods for strengthening the prevention and treatment of stress-related disorders. Adaptive control of virtual reality (VR) stimulation presented in this work, based on estimation of the person's emotional state from physiological signals, may enhance existing stress inoculation training (SIT). Physiology-driven adaptive VR stimulation can tailor the progress of stressful stimuli delivery to the physiological characteristics of each individual, which is indicated for improvement in stress resistance. Following an overview of physiology-driven adaptive VR stimulation, its major functional subsystems are described in more detail. A specific algorithm of stimuli delivery applicable to SIT is outlined.
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can develop after exposure to a terrifying event. People who suffer from PTSD experience hyperarousal and avoidance, and they reexperience symptoms that provoke distress and impairment in significant life areas. Cognitive behavior programs, including exposure therapy, are currently the treatment of choice for PTSD. Although these programs are effective, there is room for improvement; utilization of exposure therapy by clinicians is low, and attrition rates are high. Application of new technologies, especially virtual reality (VR), could help to overcome these issues. Several VR programs that address PTSD already exist. This study presents preliminary data on the efficacy of a VR adaptive display called EMMA's World, as applied in the treatment of diverse trauma PTSD victims. This VR program is unique; its flexibility allows it to be used to treat patients who suffer from PTSD due to different kinds of traumatic events. Results support the utility of EMMA's World in the treatment of PTSD.
Computer overuse has been a serious problem for the past several years. One aspect of the information age has been the novel concerns deriving from advanced IT technology--which include Internet addiction, gambling, and so on. These Internet-based problems have emerged in many countries, including South Korea. In an effort to solve this problem, the South Korean government has created a variety of programs designed to cure teenagers' Internet addictions, most notably the Jump Up Internet Rescue School, a camp designed to cure Internet-addicted or online game-addicted children. In this study, we review this boot-camp program and present a brief review of the literature concerning Internet addiction and habit theory. Additionally, we provide some useful implications for the Korean government and other countries, practitioners, and researchers. It is also anticipated that the findings from this study will provide us with a better understanding of how case-study-based research into Internet addiction curative programs can be regarded as a burgeoning field of Internet-related research.
Internet addiction has been considered to be associated with poor impulse control. The aim of this study is to compare the trait impulsivity of those suffering from Internet addiction with that of individuals suffering from pathological gambling. Twenty-seven patients diagnosed with Internet addiction (age: 24.78±4.37 years), 27 patients diagnosed with pathological gambling (age: 25.67±3.97 years), and 27 healthy controls (age: 25.33±2.79 years) were enrolled in this study. All patients were men seeking treatment. Trait impulsivity and the severity of the Internet addiction and pathological gambling were measured by the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale-11, the Young's Internet Addiction Test, and the South Oaks Gambling Screen, respectively. The Beck Depression Inventory and the Beck Anxiety Inventory were also administered to all subjects. Our results show that those suffering from Internet addiction showed increased levels of trait impulsivity which were comparable to those of patients diagnosed with pathological gambling. Additionally, the severity of Internet addiction was positively correlated with the level of trait impulsivity in patients with Internet addiction. These results state that Internet addiction can be conceptualized as an impulse control disorder and that trait impulsivity is a marker for vulnerability to Internet addiction.
Research into online gaming has steadily increased over the last decade, although relatively little research has examined the relationship between online gaming addiction and personality factors. This study examined the relationship between a number of personality traits (sensation seeking, self-control, aggression, neuroticism, state anxiety, and trait anxiety) and online gaming addiction. Data were collected over a 1-month period using an opportunity sample of 123 university students at an East Midlands university in the United Kingdom. Gamers completed all the online questionnaires. Results of a multiple linear regression indicated that five traits (neuroticism, sensation seeking, trait anxiety, state anxiety, and aggression) displayed significant associations with online gaming addiction. The study suggests that certain personality traits may be important in the acquisition, development, and maintenance of online gaming addiction, although further research is needed to replicate the findings of the present study.
Previous studies have reported associations between aggression and Internet addiction disorder (IAD), which has also been linked with anxiety, depression, and impulsiveness. However, the causal relationship between aggression and IAD has thus far not been clearly demonstrated. This study was designed to (a) examine the association between aggression and IAD and (b) investigate the mediating effects of anxiety, depression, and impulsivity in cases in which IAD predicts aggression or aggression predicts IAD. A total of 714 middle school students in Seoul, South Korea, were asked to provide demographic information and complete the Young's Internet Addiction Test (Y-IAT), the Buss-Perry Aggression Questionnaire, the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale-11, the State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory-2, the Beck Anxiety Inventory, the Beck Depression Inventory, and the Conners-Wells Adolescent Self-Report Scale. Three groups were identified based on the Y-IAT: the usual user group (n=487, 68.2%), the high-risk group (n=191, 26.8%), and the Internet addiction group (n=13, 1.8%). The data revealed a linear association between aggression and IAD such that one variable could be predicted by the other. According to the path analysis, the clinical scales (BAI, BDI, and CASS) had partial or full mediating effects on the ability of aggression to predict IAD, but the clinical scales had no mediating effect on the ability of IAD to predict aggression. The current findings suggest that adolescents with IAD seem to have more aggressive dispositions than do normal adolescents. If more aggressive individuals are clinically prone to Internet addiction, early psychiatric intervention may contribute to the prevention of IAD.
One of the more prominent issues in the field of Internet addiction is the validity of the instrument used to assess users' level of Internet involvement. Many of the instruments used to assess Internet addiction have high face validity but have yet to be tested psychometrically. The aim of this study is to compare two of the most used Internet addiction research measures, the Internet Addiction Test (IAT) and the Internet-Related Problem Scale (IRPS), along with a self-diagnostic question simply asking Internet users if they thought they were addicted to the Internet. A total of 225 Internet users participated in the study (69 males and 156 females). Participants who defined themselves as Internet addicts had higher scores on both the IAT and IRPS, and the three different Internet addiction measures were strongly correlated to each other. For the IAT, factor analysis generated three factors (emotional/psychological conflict; time management issues; mood modification) explaining 56.3% of the variance. For the IRPS, factor analysis generated four factors (negative effects of Internet use; mood modification; loss of control; increased Internet use) explaining 60.2% of the variance. The implications for these findings are discussed.
Abstract The purpose of this study was to examine the prevalence of Internet addiction in a nationally representative sample of Chinese elementary and middle school students and to investigate Internet addiction among Internet users with different usages. The data were from the National Children's Study of China (NCSC) in which 24,013 fourth- to ninth-grade students were recruited from 100 counties in 31 provinces in China. Only 54.2% of the students had accessed the Internet. According to the criteria of Young's Diagnostic Questionnaire (YDQ), an eight-item instrument, the prevalence of Internet addiction in the total sample was 6.3%, and among Internet users was 11.7%. Among the Internet users, males (14.8%) and rural students (12.1%) reported Internet addiction more than females (7.0%) and urban students (10.6%). The percentage of Internet addicts in elementary school students (11.5%) was not significantly lower than the percentage of middle school students (11.9%). There was no statistically significant difference between the four geographical regions (9.6%, 11.5%, 12.3%, 11.1%) characterized by different levels of economy, health, education, and social environment. As the frequency of Internet use and time spent online per week increased, the percentage of Internet addicts increased. When considering the location and purpose of Internet use, the percentage of Internet addicts was highest in adolescents typically surfing in Internet cafes (18.1%) and playing Internet games (22.5%).
The aim of this study was to examine the prevalence of Internet addiction in a nationally representative sample of college students and to identify any associated psychosocial risk factors. The present study was constructed using a cross-sectional design with 3,616 participants. Participants were surveyed during the middle of the spring and fall semesters and recruited from colleges around Taiwan using stratified and cluster random sampling methods. Associations between Internet addiction and psychosocial risk factors were examined using stepwise logistic regression analysis. The prevalence of Internet addiction was found to be 15.3 percent (95 percent confidence interval, 14.1 percent to 16.5 percent). More depressive symptoms, higher positive outcome expectancy of Internet use, higher Internet usage time, lower refusal self-efficacy of Internet use, higher impulsivity, lower satisfaction with academic performance, being male, and insecure attachment style were positively correlated with Internet addiction. The prevalence of Internet addiction among college students in Taiwan was high, and the variables mentioned were independently predictive in the logistic regression analysis. This study can be used as a reference for policy making regarding the design of Internet addiction prevention programs and can also aid in the development of strategies designed to help Internet-addicted college students.