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Fear of missing out: prevalence, dynamics, and consequences of experiencing FOMO

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Fear of missing out, known colloquially as FOMO, appears to be a common experience, and has recently become part of the vernacular, receiving frequent mentions in the popular media. The present paper provides a multi-method empirical examination of FOMO. In a first study, experience sampling was used to assess FOMO experiences among college freshmen. Nightly diaries and end-of-semester measures provided data on the short and long-term consequences of experiencing FOMO. Results showed that students experience FOMO frequently, particularly later in the day and later in the week, and while doing a required task like studying or working. More frequent experiences of FOMO were associated with negative outcomes both daily and over the course of the semester, including increasing negative affect, fatigue, stress, physical symptoms, and decreased sleep. A second experimental study investigated FOMO on a conceptual level, distinguishing FOMO from general self-regulation and exploring its links with social media.
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Running Head: FEAR OF MISSING OUT 1
Fear of Missing Out: Prevalence, dynamics, and consequences of experiencing FOMO
Marina Milyavskaya
Department of Psychology, Carleton University
Mark Saffran
Nora Hope
Richard Koestner
Department of Psychology, McGill University
This manuscript has been accepted for publication in Motivation and Emotion. Please note that
some changes may occur during the copy-editing process, such that the final published version
may differ somewhat from this version.
Author Note
This research was supported by a grant to Richard Koestner from the Social Sciences and
Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and the Fonds de Recherche du Québec -
Société et culture (FQRSC-Quebec). Marina Milyavskaya was supported by a fellowship from
the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).
Please send correspondence to Marina Milyavskaya, Department of Psychology, Carleton
University, Loeb 550B, 1125 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. E-mail:
marina.milyavskaya@carleton.ca
FEAR OF MISSING OUT 2
Abstract
Fear of Missing Out, known colloquially as FOMO, appears to be a common experience, and has
recently become part of the vernacular, receiving frequent mentions in the popular media. The
present paper provides a multi-method empirical examination of FOMO. In a first study,
experience sampling was used to assess FOMO experiences among college freshmen. Nightly
diaries and end-of-semester measures provided data on the short and long-term consequences of
experiencing FOMO. Results showed that students experience FOMO frequently, particularly
later in the day and later in the week, and while doing a required task like studying or working.
More frequent experiences of FOMO were associated with negative outcomes both daily and
over the course of the semester, including increasing negative affect, fatigue, stress, physical
symptoms, and decreased sleep. A second experimental study investigated FOMO on a
conceptual level, distinguishing FOMO from general self-regulation and exploring its links with
social media.
Keywords: fear of missing out; experience sampling method; well-being;self-regulation
FEAR OF MISSING OUT 3
Fear of Missing Out: Prevalence, dynamics, and consequences of experiencing FOMO
Imagine you are a college freshman living, for the first time in your life, with only your
peers. Your co-ed dormitory, located in the heart of one of North America’s most dynamic cities,
is buzzing on this particular Friday evening as everyone is getting ready to go out. Yet while the
dorm is pulsing with anticipation of a memorable night downtown, you have decided to work on
a term paper due on Monday. Consider how your studying experience will be altered by the
knowledge that your friends will be out having a great time while you remain with only your
unfinished paper as company. It seems likely that, even with excellent willpower and study
habits, your studying will be affected by what you know you could be doing, and you will be
distracted by nagging thoughts and anxiety about missing out on a potentially exciting
experience. Commonly referred to as “Fear of Missing Out”, or “FOMO”, this is a salient
experience for many young people. Indeed, if one were to google “FOMO” one would be met
with over 3,000,000 hits, including a New York Times article, a Forbes opinion piece, a handful
of marketing magazines trying to pin down this up-and-coming trend, and countless bloggers
lamenting their own FOMO experiences. Condensed to FOMO, proliferated and placed firmly
into the vernacular of the 21st century, Fear of Missing Out has received relatively less attention
in psychological research. The present paper thus provides a quantitative exploration into the
widespread social phenomena known as FOMO, using experience sampling methodology to
examine how often and when it is experienced in day-to-day life, as well as exploring its effects
on psychological adaptation.
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With the proliferation of choices in today’s society, it may seem as if the notion of
securing maximum opportunity, rooted in economic rational choice theory (von Neumann &
Morgenstern, 1944), has become firmly entrenched in the Western world. However, recent
research has demonstrated that having too many choices can lead to choice paralysis, where both
decision making and well-being are undermined (e.g. Iyengar & Lepper, 2000). One factor that is
thought to underlie the negative effects of choice overload is the potential regret resulting from
making a sub-optimal choice (Iyengar & Lepper, 2000). Similarly, FOMO can be thought to arise
from an abundance of choices among activities or experiences, particularly those of a social
nature, coupled with an uncertainty over the ‘best’ choice and anticipatory regret over the options
not selected. Unlike post-decisional regret, which occurs upon realising that another choice
would have been better after a choice has been made (Zeelenberg,1999), FOMO can be
experienced despite believing that one made the ‘best available choice’ in the moment. For
example, a student deciding to go on a date rather than to a fraternity party might still wonder
what he missed by not going to the party even though he enjoyed his date and would repeat that
choice in the future.
It has been suggested that decisional regret is particularly prominent for young people in
Western society because there are few explicit guidelines about how to make meaningful life
choices (Schwartz, 2000). The first year of university, when many young people find themselves
on their own without authority figures to guide their choices, may be a time when one’s decisions
become particularly important. Each decision a freshman makes thus carries increased adaptive
importance and may likewise be accompanied by more uncertainty as to whether it is the ‘best’
decision, along with increased decisional regret. Similarly, the freshman year may present greater
social opportunities, along with more responsibilities that would require passing up on those
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opportunities. As a result, experiences of FOMO may be particularly heightened during freshman
year.
The scientific community has begun to examine the correlates and consequences of
FOMO, especially as it relates to the use of computers and social media. In one of the first
psychology papers to examine the topic, Fear of Missing Out was defined as the “pervasive
apprehension that others might be having rewarding experiences from which one is absent”
(Przybylski, Murayama, DeHaan, & Gladwell, 2013, p.1841). This definition highlights the
social aspects of FOMO that further distinguish it from post-decision regret: it is specifically
about missing out on experiences that others are having. Przybylski’s first study surveyed a large
international sample of adults about their FOMO experiences, resulting in a 10-item Fear of
Missing Out scale that assessed the construct as a fairly general and stable individual difference
variable. This FOMO scale was shown to be associated with lower psychological need
satisfaction, general mood and life satisfaction, and higher social media usage. Following studies
also found FOMO to be related to greater depression, anxiety, and physical symptoms (Baker,
Krieger, & LeRoy, 2016; Elhai, Levine, Dvorak, & Hall, 2016), and to more problematic social
media and mobile phone use (Beyens, Frison, & Egermont, 2016; Oberst et al., 2017).
A key limitation of the research on FOMO is its use of cross-sectional surveys (e.g., Elhai
et al., 2016; Oberst et al., 2017; Przybylski et al., 2013), which does not allow for any
conclusions about causality or about the long-term effects of experiencing FOMO. Based on
their findings and on FOMO’s likely ties to regret, which has been shown to result in a variety of
negative psychological outcomes (Zeelenberg, 1999; Lecci, Okun & Karoly, 1994), we expected
that experiencing FOMO in a given situation will be related to proximal negative emotional and
self-regulatory consequences, and frequent FOMO experiences to be related to increased
FEAR OF MISSING OUT 6
negative affect and stress over time. Additionally, since experiencing FOMO typically involves
choosing one option or activity at the expense of others, we also anticipated that frequent FOMO
experiences will be related to greater fatigue (Hockey, 2013), a state that has been shown to be
exacerbated by decision making (Vohs et al., 2008). Finally, given that regret has been shown to
guide decision-making and behaviour, we expected that FOMO could similarly affect students’
behaviour; in particular, we expected that students’ sleep would likely be affected by FOMO, as
students who experience FOMO may be particularly likely to miss out on sleep, either because of
greater rumination and stress or in order to maximize their activities and opportunities by staying
up later.
The popular media has suggested that FOMO is likely amplified by the proliferation of
social media, making it easier than ever to be aware of experiences on which one is missing out
(Worthman, 2011). The studies by Przybylski and colleagues (2013) support this view, finding
FOMO to be moderately related to social media use. We would suggest, however, that there is a
larger scope to the phenomenon of FOMO, and that FOMO can likely be experienced without
involvement of social media. Indeed, it seems likely that college students in the pre-Internet era
experienced a fear of missing out when they heard sounds of a party down the hall or across the
quad. The focus of recent FOMO papers on social media (e.g., Alt, 2013; Oberst et al., 2017,
Przybylski et al., 2013) is natural given the way technological advances in this area have
impacted social interaction and self-regulatory patterns. However, we suspect that FOMO occurs
among young people frequently and across a range of situations and contexts, including those
devoid of social media influences. Our second study was designed to specifically look at the role
of social media in the FOMO experience.
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Overall, the goal of the present investigation is to provide an in-depth exploration of the
FOMO phenomenon. First, we wanted to assess FOMO experiences in a more
phenomenologically proximal manner, rather than asking about generalized retrospections. To
examine a socially induced but private phenonomon like FOMO, a good place to start is to track
individuals’ activities, interactions, and experiences across contexts and over several days. Such
an experience sampling method (ESM; Csikszentmihalyi & Larson, 1992) could allow
researchers to address some basic questions such as how frequently young people experience
FOMO, the contexts in which FOMO occurs, and the consequence of frequent FOMO
experiences. Experience sampling has been demonstrated to be successful in capturing transient
moments of intense motivations, such as desires and resistance in normal everyday life
(Hofmann Baumeister, Förster, & Vohs, 2012). The primary goal of our investigation was thus to
employ the experience sampling methodology in order to explore basic questions about FOMO
experiences among college students (Study 1). Additionally, we conducted a second
experimental study to examine two important conceptual issues regarding the nature of FOMO
experiences. Specifically, we sought to determine whether FOMO experiences were uniquely
linked to social media usage, and whether FOMO could be distinguished from more general self-
regulation conflicts in which one must delay gratification and persist at a boring task.
Study 1
In the first study, we used the experience sampling method (ESM; Csikszentmihalyi &
Larson, 1992) to capture university freshmen’s in-the-moment experiences of FOMO. We were
particularly interested in investigating whether FOMO was especially likely while engaging in
certain activities, and examining the fluctuations of FOMO throughout a typical week. This ESM
methodology provides a measure, unbiased by recall of past experiences, of how frequently each
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participant experienced FOMO, both over the course of each day and over an entire week. The
frequency of FOMO experiences can then be related both to day-level outcomes (measured using
a nightly diary) and to adaptation over the course of a semester. Experience sampling is
particularly well-suited to examine FOMO, which concerns present experiences on which the
person is currently missing out, as distinguished from decisional regret, which is retrospective
and focused on past decisions. Based on Przybylski and colleagues’ (2013) definition of FOMO
(see above), we focused on the frequency of experiences of missing out that participants reported
in their day-to-day lives – that is, we operationalized the frequent endorsement of missing out as
representing the “pervasive apprehension” of missing out.
This study was designed to provide an initial understanding of the FOMO phenomenon,
with three sets of research questions. First, we were interested in determining how frequently
FOMO is experienced, and when. We expected FOMO to be more frequently experienced on
weekends than during weekdays, and later rather than earlier in the day, when a greater number
of social activities typically take place. Second, we wanted to know whether the frequency of
FOMO experiences was related to any of the Big Five personality traits, and ensure than FOMO
was not simply a manifestation of, for example, high neuroticism or high extroversion. Finally,
and perhaps most importantly, we were interested in the consequences of experiencing FOMO,
both on a day-to-day level and over the course of a semester. As described earlier, we
hypothesized FOMO to be related to numerous negative outcomes including negative affect,
stress, fatigue, and decreased sleep.
Methods
Participants and procedure. One hundred and fifty nine first-year university students
(72% female, M age = 18; SD = 1.04) who had smartphones were recruited for a study of goal
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pursuit and well-being that included an ESM component.1 Participants came into the lab at the
start of the fall semester to complete baseline measures (including personality and well-being
measures) and were introduced to the ESM protocol. Three weeks later, participants completed
the week-long ESM and nightly diary component of the study: For seven days, five times during
the day at random intervals distributed over the course of 12 hours (from 10am to 10pm),
participants received a text message with a link to a brief online survey regarding their present
experience, which they were asked to complete immediately. They also received a nightly
message with a different survey (at 10:15pm). One hundred and fifty one students completed at
least some of the daily signals, for a total of 3615 ESM surveys (68% response rate) and 955
nightly surveys (90% of all nightly signals sent). At the end of the semester (in late
December/early January), participants were asked to complete an online questionnaire that
included well-being measures; one hundred and seven students (68%) completed this
questionnaire.2
Experience sampling measures. At each signal, participants were asked the following
question to determine FOMO: “Is there something your friends or peers are doing right now, that
you feel you are missing out on?” (yes/no response option). They were also asked to report the
current activity in which they were engaged.3
Nightly measures. At the fixed evening signal, participants rated their affect during the
day using a nine-item scale of affect (Emmons, 1992) that included four positive (e.g., joyful)
and five negative (e.g., frustrated) items. Additionally, single items assessed fatigue (“Please rate
the degree to which you felt this way during the course of the day today: mentally exhausted”)
and vitality (“Please rate the degree to which you felt this way during the course of the day
today: alive and vital”). All items were rated using a slider with a scale from 0 (not at all) to
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6(very much). Finally, participants checked off which, if any, of nine physical symptoms they
experienced that day (e.g. headaches, sore throat; Emmons, 1992).
Person-level measures. At the start of the semester, participants completed a battery of
questionnaires including the Big Five inventory (44 items; John, Naumann, & Soto, 2008; αs for
each of the Big 5 facets ranging from .72 to .87.). Affect, stress, and sleep quantity were assessed
both at the start and at the end of the semester. Positive and negative affect was measured using
the same items as on the nightly surveys (Emmons, 1992). Stress experienced over the past two
weeks was assessed on a scale of 1(no stress at all) to 7 (very much stress) for ‘academic/school
stress’, ‘interpersonal stress’, and ‘general stress’ (e.g. in your job, activities, other
responsibilities, etc.). These three items were combined to create an overall stress variable. Sleep
was assessed by asking participants “On average, how many hours did you sleep each night
during the past 2 weeks?”
Data Analysis and Results
Missing data
As noted in the participants section, participants only responded to 68% of the ESM
signals, and 90% of the nightly signals; the rest can be considered as missing data. For the
within-subject analyses (i.e., of in-the-moment FOMO, or nightly affect), all available
observations were used (unlike within-subject ANOVA, HLM analyses do not require the same
number of observations from each subject). However, when computing proportion scores, we
needed to have a minimum number of reports to establish a baseline, so we removed anyone who
completed fewer than 7 ESM surveys (20% of all surveys sent) using listwise deletion (19
participants were removed). For the analyses examining changes in well-being across the
semester, we used only those participants who completed the final time point (listwise deletion).
FEAR OF MISSING OUT 11
The 39 participants who did not complete this time point were not different from those who did
complete this time point (n=101) on measures of FOMO or well-being (positive and negative
affect, stress, sleep) at time 1, suggesting that the data were missing completely at random
(MCAR), supporting our use of listwise deletion (i.e., parameter estimates are not biased by
listwise deletion when data are MCAR; Peugh & Enders, 2004).
Frequency and contextual correlates of FOMO experiences.
Using the ESM data, we first examined when people were most likely to experience
FOMO using two-level multilevel modeling (signals nested within person). Since FOMO
experience at each signal is a binary variable, these analyses were conducted using a logistic
multilevel regression (using HLM software; Raudenbush & Bryk, 2002). Analyses with a
categorical IV are displayed using odds ratios (OR) derived from the estimated log odds of the
outcome. Overall, the freshmen students experienced FOMO on approximately 16% of the
signals (SD = 16%; range: 0 to 97%).4 Table 1 presents the proportion of times participants
experienced FOMO by activity in which they were engaged when they completed the survey.5
These activities were effects-coded to allow for a statistical comparison of each activity (except
for the “other” category) with the grand mean (Cohen, Cohen, West, & Aiken, 2003). Fixed
effects from the population-average model with robust standard errors are reported (Raudenbush,
2004). Compared to the likelihood of experiencing FOMO at any given point, FOMO was more
commonly experienced during studying (OR = 1.40, 95%CI[1.13; 1.73], p = .002) and work (OR
= 2.18, 95%CI [1.00; 4.75], p = .051), and less commonly experienced during eating (OR = 0.61
[.43; .86], p < .05). Interestingly, FOMO was not less frequent than average during socializing
(OR = 0.91, 95%CI[.68; 1.22], p = .527). In order to examine the prevalence of FOMO
throughout the week, the time of each response was coded into two-hour segments. Figure 1
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displays the proportion of FOMO experienced throughout the day on each day of the week. As
expected FOMO was more commonly experienced later in the day (OR = 1.15, 95% CI[1.09;
1.21], p < .001), and on Thursday (OR = 1.56, 95CI[1.09; 2.21], p = .034), Friday (OR = 1.56,
95%CI[1.09; 2.23], p = .03), and (marginally) Saturday (OR = 1.45; 95%CI[1.01; 2.09], p = .
054) compared to Monday.
FOMO and personality.
To examine the relationship of personality variables with frequency of FOMO
experiences, a person-level variable was computed representing the proportion of the signals on
which FOMO was reported. As this variable was strongly positively skewed, we transformed it
using a square root transformation so that it more closely approximated a normal distribution.
This variable was then correlated with the personality measures included in this study. These
analyses were conducted using SPSS 22. Only participants who responded to a minimum of 7
signals during the week were used for these analyses (N = 140). All five of the Big Five traits
were unrelated to FOMO (rs from .02 to .14; all ps>.09; full results can be found on
osf.io/8dhv6).6 These results were essentially the same when all of the trait variables were
entered simultaneously as predictors in a regression.
FOMO and well-being.
Next, we tested our prediction that FOMO would play a role in physical and
psychological well-being, both on a day-to-day level and over the course of the semester. To
examine the influence of FOMO on daily well-being, the proportion of signals in which a person
indicated having experienced FOMO that day was used to predict nightly ratings of positive and
negative affect, fatigue, vitality, and physical symptoms. Multilevel modeling with day nested
within person was used for these analyses (using the mixed command in SPSS 22). FOMO was
FEAR OF MISSING OUT 13
group mean-centered, so that results reflected the effect of having higher or lower FOMO than
average on a given day. All analyses also controlled for day of the week. Unstandardized
coefficients are reported. Results showed that experiencing FOMO more frequently during the
day predicted greater negative affect (b = .56, p = .01, 95% CI [.13, .99]) and more fatigue (b = .
81, p = .01, 95% CI [.17, 1.44]), but not lower positive affect (b = -.36, p = .13, 95% CI [-.83, .
11]) or vitality (b = -.10, p = .73 95% CI [-.65, .45]). Additionally, more frequent experiences of
FOMO predicted the number of physical symptoms experienced during that day (b = .56, p = .
04, 95% CI [.03, 1.09]). In order to evaluate the possibility that a third variable, such as greater
time spent studying or working, could be responsible for the array of negative effects observed,
we repeated the analyses and controlled for the proportion of signals at which participants
reported their activity as studying, in class, or working. All of the results for FOMO held in these
supplementary analyses, controlling for proportion of signals engaged in these work and school-
related activities
Finally, using only the person-level data again, we conducted a series of multiple
regressions to examine the effect of FOMO experiences early in the semester on changes in well-
being over the semester. Participants who completed at least seven daily signals as well as the
final questionnaire were used for these analyses (N = 101). In each regression, the baseline for
that measure was included, so that the results represented the influence of FOMO on changes
over the semester. As in the personality analyses, a squared root term of FOMO (to improve
skewness) was used; consequently, only standardized estimates are reported. The frequency of
FOMO experiences during the week-long experience sampling period predicted greater negative
affect at the end of the semester (controlling for baseline negative affect), β = .23, t = 2.51, p
=.01, explaining 5% of the variance. There was no effect for positive affect, β = -.08, t = -.81, p =
FEAR OF MISSING OUT 14
.42, ΔR2 = .01. FOMO experiences also predicted increased stress over the semester (controlling
for baseline), β = .26, t = 2.92, p =.004, ΔR2 = .07. Importantly, students who experienced more
FOMO during the week-long experience sampling period reported a decrease in sleeping over
the course of the semester, β = -.23, t = -2.59, p =.01, ΔR2 = .05. These results again held when
controlling for the proportion of signals spent studying, in class, or working.
Brief Discussion
In this study, experience sampling was used to assess everyday in-the-moment
experiences of FOMO in first year university students. Results show that FOMO was prevalent
for these students throughout the day, particularly later in the day and later in the week. FOMO
was more likely to be experienced by individuals while doing obligatory activities such as
studying or working, but was not less likely when people were already engaged in a social
activity. Our results also demonstrate the deleterious effects of FOMO. More frequent FOMO
experiences were associated with increased negative affect, increased fatigue, greater stress,
more sleep problems and physical symptoms, while unrelated to positive affect and vitality.
In addition to the role of concurrent activity, contextual influences on FOMO also
included the effects of day of the week and time of day (seen in Figure 1). As predicted, FOMO
was higher later in the day and on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays – all peak social times.
With increased social opportunities come more opportunities to feel as if you are missing out on
something else. This time-sensitive increase in FOMO was found in the current study even
though, in order to avoid disturbing participants, we ended the ESM signalling period at 10 PM.
FOMO increased in frequency later in the day (as more social opportunities arise) and it seems
likely that university students would have many additional social opportunities after 10 PM.
Thus, it could be expected that FOMO would further increase later into the evening. These
FEAR OF MISSING OUT 15
findings are also congruent with the non-empirical discourse on FOMO and when it is
experienced, lending further scientific validity to the popular phenomena.
Our finding that FOMO is unrelated to personality traits is important given recent interest
in FOMO as a person-level construct (Przybylski, 2013). Although we did not assess FOMO at
the person-level as was done by Przybylski and colleagues, we found that the frequency of daily
FOMO experiences was unrelated to the Big Five personality traits, suggesting that FOMO is not
simply a matter of, for example, high neuroticism. This addresses one of the limitations pointed
out by Przybylski and colleagues in their paper, who stated the need to distinguish FOMO from
the Big Five as a future research direction.
While this study provided an in-depth look at the frequency and consequences of FOMO,
it did not delve into its conceptual implications and correlates. Given that very little research has
been published on the FOMO experience, we were interested in better understanding FOMO as a
psychological phenomenon. To do so, we wanted to distinguish it from related constructs.
Specifically, the way in which FOMO was operationalized in our first study made it possible that
what we termed ‘FOMO experiences’ were simply instances where students had to exercise self-
regulation and engage in an undesired activity (e.g. studying) rather than doing something
exciting with their friends. Additionally, FOMO has been proposed to be driven by social media
use (e.g. Worthman, 2011), which has received some support in recent research (Alt, 2013;
Oberst et al., 2017, Przybylski et al., 2013). In our first study, we did not examine the relation of
social media use to FOMO. However, as described in the introduction, we do not believe FOMO
to be uniquely a product of social media. Another study was thus designed to tease apart these
issues and gain a better conceptual understanding of the FOMO experience.
Study 2
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After finding evidence that FOMO was a common phenomenon amongst our student
sample, related to contextual variables, and with robust affective consequences, we were
interested in further investigating some basic properties of the FOMO experience. First, we
wanted to know whether FOMO is simply a question of self-regulation and occurs only when a
person has to force themselves to do an unpleasant activity (e.g., homework) while his or her
peers are engaging in something more pleasant, or whether it also occurs when the current
activity is a pleasant activity of one’s own choosing. Based on popular descriptions of FOMO,
we hypothesized that people can experience FOMO even when engaged in an interesting focal
activity.
The study also aimed to examine the role that social media might play in FOMO. Recent
research highlights that FOMO is driven by social media (Alt, 2013; Beyens et al., 2016; Oberst
et al., 2017, Przybylski et al., 2013). However, while social media may help people become
aware of other opportunities on which they are missing out, people are likely to experience
FOMO independently of how these alternate opportunities are brought to their attention.
Specifically, receiving a phone call from a friend reminding you about a party would likely have
the same effect (if not stronger) as seeing a tweet from that friend about the good time he is
having at the party. We hypothesized that FOMO was associated with missed social
opportunities, but that it did not matter whether these opportunities involved or were
communicated by social media.
In addition to seeing the conditions under which FOMO is present, we were also
interested in its emotional and self-regulatory consequences. First, to replicate our Study 1
finding and based on popular culture’s discourse on the phenomena, we expected FOMO to be
related to lower positive and higher negative affect. Additionally, we expected FOMO to be
FEAR OF MISSING OUT 17
characterized by greater distraction and decreased focus on the current activity, as well as
increased regret for not engaging in the alternate activity.
In order to address these questions, we conducted an experimental study. Participants
were asked to read a vignette and imagine themselves in the situation. Each vignette described an
activity that the person had planned to do that evening (either an assignment, reading a book, or
seeing a friend), as well as an alternate activity (watching a TV show or going to a party with a
reminder from a friend or from social media). The originally planned activity was always chosen.
After reading the vignette, participants answered questions about their thoughts and feelings in
that situation. This manipulation allowed us to test the following hypotheses: (H1) FOMO would
be higher when people are missing out on a social rather that non-social alternate activity; (H2)
Social media usage would not affect FOMO; (H3) FOMO would be similarly experienced
whether the planned activity was an obligation (working on an assignment) versus something
done for pleasure (reading a book); (H4) FOMO would occur even when one is already engaged
in a social activity; (H5-6) FOMO would be related to lower positive affect and higher negative
affect; (H7-9) FOMO would be accompanied by increased distraction, decreased focus on the
current activity, and increased feelings of regret. Similarly to Study 1 that used frequency of the
feeling of missing out, here FOMO was operationalized as the strength of the feeling of missing
out.
Method
Participants were 304 American adults (39.5% female) between 18 and 72 years old (M
= 30.8, SD = 11.8) recruited through Amazon Mechanical Turk for a brief, 5-minute psychology
study. Most of the participants (88%) completed at least some college, and 77% used social
media at least once a week; full demographic information can be found on osf.io/8dhv6. Thirty-
FEAR OF MISSING OUT 18
six participants (11.8%) completed the study in less than 2 minutes and were removed from
analyses (final N = 268). Each participant consented to participate in the study and was
compensated $0.20 for completing the questionnaire.
Participants were presented with a prompt asking them to imagine themselves in a
scenario comprised of two parts: an activity that the person had planned to do that evening and
an alternate activity. There were three possible planned activities (completing an assignment,
reading a book, or seeing a friend), and three possible alternate activities (watching a TV show,
going to a party with a reminder from a friend, or going to a party with a reminder from social
media). In the scenario, the planned activity was always chosen. Participants were randomly
assigned to one of the combinations, resulting in a 3*3 experimental design with nine possible
scenarios (see Appendix for all scenarios).
After reading the scenario, participants were asked to report how they would have felt if
they were in that situation; all responses were rated on a five-point likert scale ranging from 1
(Not at All) to 5 (Extremely). Experience of FOMO was assessed using one item (“How strongly
would you feel that you were missing out on the second option?”). Distraction and focus on
current activity were assessed using two items each: “How much would you think about the
second option that night?” and “How distracted would you be by thoughts of the other activity?”
(distraction); “How absorbed would you be in the activity you’ve chosen, knowing that there are
other things occurring?”, and “How focused would you be in your activity?”(focus). Regret was
assessed using one item (“How much would you regret your choice the next day?”). Positive and
negative affect were assessed using the same nine items as in Study 1 (Emmons, 1992), asking
participants how much they would have felt each emotion in the imagined scenario. Finally, all
participants were asked general variables, including age and gender, and how frequently and
FEAR OF MISSING OUT 19
intensely they experience FOMO. The definition of FOMO was provided as “being concerned
that others may be having more fun and rewarding experiences than them”, and was followed by
questions on frequency (“How often do you experience FOMO?” with answer choices of Never,
less than once a month, once a month, 2-3 times a month, once a week, 2-3 times a week, daily),
and intensity ( “When you do experience FOMO, how intense is it?” answered on a seven-point
Likert scale ranging from Not at all to Extremely).
Results
Experimental results on FOMO.
Figure 2 illustrates people’s reports of FOMO for each vignette. We first examined the
effects of both the planned activity and the alternate activity by conducting a 3*3 ANOVA
(controlling for age and gender) on FOMO. Results showed that the main effects for both the
planned activity (F(2, 256) = 19.44, p < .001, η2 = .123) and alternate activity (F(2, 256) = 7.18,
p = .001, η2 = .045) but no interaction (F(4, 256) = .29, p = .89, η2 = .003). This suggests that
planned activity (assignment vs. reading vs. friend) affects FOMO to the same extent regardless
of alternate activity, and conversely that alternate activity plays the same role on FOMO across
all three planned activities. There were no significant effects of age or gender on FOMO.
Since the interaction was not significant, we tested our main hypotheses of the role of
alternate activity (hypotheses 1 and 2) and planned activity (hypotheses 3 and 4) across all levels
of the other activity. To test the first two hypotheses, we conducted a one-way ANOVA
examining the effects of alternate activity on FOMO, and included two sets of planned
comparisons. First, to test that FOMO would be stronger when one is missing out on a social
event, we compared the “TV show” condition with the two “party” conditions (contrast codes:
-1, .5, .5). Results of this first planned contrast show that FOMO was indeed significantly
FEAR OF MISSING OUT 20
stronger for the social alternate activities, t(265)= 3.14, p = .002, mean difference = .44 (on a 5-
point scale). Next, to determine whether social media played a role in FOMO experiences, we
contrasted the two “party” conditions with each other (contrast codes: 0, 1, -1). This contrast was
not significant, t(265)= 1.27, p = .20, mean difference = .21, supporting our hypothesis that
FOMO was equally likely to be experienced whether or not social media was used.
To test our third and fourth hypotheses, that FOMO would occur whether the planned
activity was an obligation or was pleasurable (H3), and social versus non-social in nature (H4),
we conducted a one-way ANOVA examining the effects of planned activity on FOMO, and again
included two sets of planned comparisons. First, to test our hypothesis that FOMO would be
similar in work and leisure, we contrasted the assignment versus book conditions (contrast codes:
-1, 1, 0). This contrast was not significant, t(265)= .62, p = .54, mean difference = .09, showing
that FOMO was felt to the same extent in an obligatory as in a choice activity. Next, we
examined whether FOMO was similarly present when the planned activity was social in nature
by contrasting the ‘friend’ condition with the other two (assignment and book; contrast codes: .
5, .5, -1). This contrast showed that this was the case, t(265) = 6.31, p < .001, mean difference
=.89, contradicting our expectation that FOMO would be experienced as strongly when one is
already engaged in a social activity. However, follow-up one-sample t-test analyses showed that
the FOMO experienced in the ‘friend’ condition (M = 2.42, SD = .93) was significantly different
from 1 (Not experiencing FOMO at all), t(87) = 14.31, p <.001, suggesting that participants still
experienced some FOMO in this scenario.
Negative correlates of FOMO.
To examine the negative correlates of FOMO, we looked at people’s feelings of missing
out and other related experiences across all conditions. We first looked at the relation between
FEAR OF MISSING OUT 21
FOMO and affect.7 Regression analyses showed that FOMO was a significant predictor of
negative affect (b = .29, 95%CI[.21;.36], β = .40, t = 7.32, p < .001; ΔR2 = .11) when controlling
for positive affect, and of positive affect (b = -32, 95%CI[-.45;-.20], β = -.30, t = -4.99, p < .001;
ΔR2 = .06) when controlling for negative affect. To test our hypotheses (H7-9) that FOMO
would be related to distraction, lower focus, and regret, we conducted a series of stepwise
regressions. In the first step, we included positive and negative affect, and FOMO was entered in
the second step. Results (presented in Table 2) showed that as people reported greater FOMO
they also reported that they would feel more distracted (β = .53, p < .001) and less focused on the
task at hand (β = -.27, p < .001). People who reported higher FOMO also reported that they
would experience more regret about their choice the following day (β = .42, p < .001). These
results all held when controlling for condition (see supplementary analyses on osf.io/8dhv6).
General FOMO.
Finally, we examined the general FOMO reported in our sample. Approximately 15% of
our sample reported experiencing FOMO once a week or more frequently, 35% experienced it
one to three times a month, 36% reported it less than once a month, and only 13% reported never
having experienced FOMO. Age was negatively correlated with frequency (r = -.23, p < .001)
and intensity (r = -.26, p < .001) of FOMO experiences. FOMO frequency and intensity were
moderately correlated (r = .58, p < .001). There were no differences in FOMO frequency (F(1,
266) = .08, p = .78) and intensity (F(1, 266) = .24, p = .63) by gender. People who reported that
they typically experienced more intense FOMO reported that they would be more likely to
experience FOMO in the scenario (r = .31, p < .01), suggesting that some people are generally
more prone to FOMO.
Brief Discussion
FEAR OF MISSING OUT 22
This study experimentally assessed responses to FOMO-inducing scenarios in a diverse
sample of 268 participants. Our findings support our hypothesis that FOMO experienced in the
context of social media was the same as FOMO experienced through direct social contact.
Although previous research has shown social media to be important, we found that people
experience FOMO no matter how they find out about the alternate activity on which they are
missing out. However, social media may still play a role in FOMO by increasing the likelihood
that one finds out about alternate activities. That is, it is possible that the manner in which one is
reminded of possible alternate activities does not matter, but that social media may make such
reminders more frequent, leading to greater FOMO.
While there was an effect of an in-progress social activity lessening one’s feelings of
FOMO we found no difference between the two solitary activities (the assignment vs. reading
conditions), demonstrating that when one is alone, there is equivalent FOMO experienced during
both required activities and volitional ones. This suggests that FOMO is not simply a matter of
exerting self-control to continue in a required activity at the expense of another more interesting
one. These results do show, however, that FOMO is an inherently social phenomena – people
experience less FOMO when they are engaging in an activity with another person (although
some FOMO is still experienced), and more FOMO when the alternate activity is social in
nature.
Finally, this study provides further evidence of the negative consequences of FOMO.
Participants who reported that they would experience FOMO in the imagined situation also
reported less positive and more negative affect. They also indicated that they would feel more
distracted, less focused on the ongoing activity, and would be more likely to regret their decision
the next day.
FEAR OF MISSING OUT 23
General Discussion
The present paper provides an empirical examination of the Fear of Missing Out
(FOMO), an important social phenomenon that may leave many young people feeling alienated
from their current experiences. In the first study, the experience sampling method was used to
assess everyday in-the-moment experiences of FOMO in college freshmen. Results showed that
students experience FOMO frequently, particularly later in the day and later in the week, and
while doing a required task like studying or working. These results suggest that FOMO is not a
trivial phenomenon. Indeed, the sheer number of FOMO experiences in our studies was striking.
In the first study, students reported experiencing FOMO on approximately 16% of all ESM
signals. Furthermore, 16% may represent an underestimate of our sample’s experience of FOMO
(see Study 1 brief discussion for more details). In our second study of a non-student sample,
approximately 50% of participants reported experiencing FOMO at least once a month, with
15% percent reporting weekly FOMO experiences. While age was significantly negatively
related with FOMO frequency in this study, the correlation was small (r = -.23), suggesting that
FOMO experiences are not restricted to a young population.
While it is possible that some characteristics of the FOMO experiences would be
particularly crucial, simply feeling like one missed out on something (whether they were
bothered by this feeling or not) was enough to have important consequences. In Study 1, FOMO
was related to a host of negative outcomes both on a daily basis and over the course of the
semester. Experiencing more FOMO on a given day (relative to other days) predicted greater
negative affect, greater feelings of fatigue, and more physical symptoms on that day. By the end
of the semester, those who experienced more frequent FOMO reported an increase in negative
affect compared to the start of the school year, as well as increased stress and decreased sleep. In
FEAR OF MISSING OUT 24
study 2, participants identified that experiencing FOMO would cause a host of negative
outcomes even in hypothetical situations. These outcomes included increased negative affect,
decreased positive affect, more distraction, less focus, and more regret the next day.
Interestingly, in the experience sampling study FOMO was only related to negative, but
not positive affect at both the nightly level and over the course of the semester. Although a great
deal of research combines positive and negative affect to obtain an overall measure of well-
being, others distinguish between them, showing differences from the norm in both positive and
negative affect to be related to depression, while only differences in negative affect relate to
anxiety (Clark & Watson, 1991). It may be particularly likely that FOMO is related to feelings of
anxiety, rather than a lack of happiness over the missed experiences. Even though the term ‘fear
of missing out’ implies an experiential component (i.e., ‘fear’), we only assessed whether
participants thought they were missing out on an activity and did not explore either the nature or
the intensity of the emotions associated with these experiences. Future research should explore in
greater detail the affective and experiential experiences related to FOMO.
As seen in Study 2, one likely downside of FOMO is that it may distract people from
their in-the-moment experiences. Indeed, it is difficult to focus on what one is doing when one is
worried about what one is missing out on. This is particularly interesting to consider in relation
with the growing literature on mindfulness (e.g. Brown & Ryan, 2003). Given that state
mindfulness has been linked to positive and negative affect as well as other well-being outcomes
(Brown & Ryan, 2003), it may be that FOMO affects these outcomes by reducing mindfulness.
Conversely, mindfulness may reduce feelings of FOMO, as a person may be less likely to think
of alternatives when he or she is deeply engaged in what they are doing in the moment.
FEAR OF MISSING OUT 25
The question of ruminating on alternatives has been the focus of a growing body of
research on counterfactual-seeking, in which one seeks to obtain information on a forgone
opportunity (Summerville, 2011). While such research has highlighted the mediating effects such
information can have on decision dissatisfaction, the subjective state prompting one to seek such
information has not yet been investigated. It may be that FOMO addresses this limitation.
Specifically, it is possible that the negative experiential qualities of FOMO form the basis from
which people begin to counterfactually seek, doing so in order to mediate their feelings of
missing out. While counterfactual-seeking research has thus far been limited to non-social
decisions, such as card games and product selection, further investigations using socially specific
decisions are needed in order to examine this relationship further.
One interesting discrepancy between the two studies was the likelihood of experiencing
FOMO while engaging in a social activity. In the second study, participants asked to imagine
that they were spending time with a friend reported that they would experience less FOMO than
those who imagined completing an assignment or reading an interesting book. Conversely, in the
first study, participants were not less likely to report FOMO when they were engaged in a social
activity. One possible explanation for this discrepancy is that people do not expect to experience
FOMO in a social situation but do so anyways when they are actually in that situation. Future
research can further investigate the impact of social activity on FOMO experiences.
Although Study 2 showed that people experience FOMO no matter how they find out
about the alternate activity on which they are missing out, social media may still play an
important role in FOMO experiences. For example, social media may provide more frequent
reminders of possible alternate experiences. Alternatively, social media may influence FOMO by
reminding people of not only one but multiple alternate experiences on which they are missing
FEAR OF MISSING OUT 26
out. This may result in choice paralysis (Iyengar & Lepper, 2000), which has been found to occur
when an extensive array of choices is detrimental to a person’s ability to make a decision.
Similarly, FOMO may be accentuated when there are multiple alternate options, resulting in
increased distraction, reduced focus, and increased regret. Interestingly, it may also be that
people are using social media to counter the feeling of FOMO by engaging in social one-
upmanship (e.g. I feel left out and inadequate, and therefore will post a picture of myself doing
something fun to make myself feel better). Future research could examine the potentially cyclical
relationship between FOMO and social media to better understand both the FOMO experience
and people’s use of social media.
The current study provides only an initial exploration into FOMO and many questions
remain unanswered. Although limiting the sample in our ESM study to only freshman students
increased our chances of successfully capturing FOMO in the field, choosing to study a group so
prone to FOMO limits the application of our findings to other demographics. Thus, the next step
would be extending our sample to include a wider age range. Specifically, the popular media has
suggested that FOMO is primarily an experience of 20-somethings (Crocker, 2012). It would be
interesting to test this using an experience sampling methodology to determine how age, life
stage, and socio-economic status impact FOMO experiences.
While our results suggest that most people experience missing out on activities, it may be
that some people are more affected by these experiences than others. For example, research on
the impact of choice proliferation has found that in making choices, some people strive to choose
the best option (maximizers), while others are content to choose an option that is ‘good
enough’(satisficers; Schwartz et al., 2002). The maximizers were found to be more likely to
engage in social comparison and particularly susceptible to regret (Schwartz et al., 2002). When
FEAR OF MISSING OUT 27
it comes to FOMO, maximizers may be particularly affected by these experiences; future
research could examine the relationship between maximizing and FOMO, focusing on whether
maximizers are more susceptible to experience negative outcomes as a result of FOMO
experiences.
Limitations
Both studies suffer from some limitations, including confounds that may have affected
the results. In Study 1, we collected participants’ subjective experiences of missing out at any
given moment, but did not have an objective measure of whether they were actually missing out
on something. Given the importance of social experiences for feelings of relatedness and well-
being, it is likely that actually missing out on social experiences does negatively influence
personal well-being. Additionally, if it is the case that some participants are actually missing out
on social experiences, it would be interesting to consider why that may be the case – is it because
they are choosing to do so (in order to, for example, concentrate on their schoolwork, or to earn
money in a part-time job), or do some other factors, such as social anxiety or limited funds, play
a role? 8 Such other factors could potentially explain both feelings of FOMO and poor outcomes,
and need to be examined in future studies.
In Study 2, our manipulations of FOMO may not have been well-matched on other
factors such as desirability of each activity (e.g., it is unclear how many participants were
actually interested in spending their evening reading a book), or its uniqueness (e.g., it is possible
to finish reading the book another day, but the party is one day only). These additional factors
may have acted as confounds, influencing some of our findings. For example, the comparison of
social (going to a party) vs. non-social (watching TV) focal activity may have been affected by
how time-sensitive the activity was (since the party will be over tomorrow, but you could record
FEAR OF MISSING OUT 28
or save the TV show and watch it later), although it may be that not watching a season finale on
time could lead to subsequent FOMO from feeling ‘out of the loop’. As this was the first study
(to our knowledge) to experimentally examine FOMO, future research is needed to further
isolate the qualities of experiences that give rise to FOMO and design better manipulations of
such experiences.
Perhaps most critically, our measures of FOMO in both studies departed somewhat from
other operationalizations of FOMO in the literature. Previous studies have examined FOMO as
an individual difference and focused on the affective quality of the experience (i.e., fear, worry).
As we were predominantly interested in momentary (rather than general) experiences, we
operationalized FOMO as the perceived frequency or intensity of missing out. In both studies,
we used one face-valid item assessing whether participants felt that they were missing out on
something in that moment (Study1), and how strong that feeling of missing out was (Study 2).
Our aim was to obtain participants’ subjective experiences of missing out, rather than the
emotions they felt about these experiences. We expected that someone who does not generally
experience FOMO would not frequently (or strongly) endorse that they are missing out on an
experience that others are having – to them, it would not be as salient. In both studies,
participants who more frequently or more strongly felt like they missed out had more negative
consequences, whether they were bothered by this feeling or not, further reinforcing the validity
of our measures. Future studies could supplement our measure of FOMO with other measures,
or examine in-the-moment FOMO along with trait FOMO to ascertain these parallels.
Conclusion
The present paper provides an initial glimpse into a ubiquitous social phenomenon
largely neglected by psychology researchers. Given the negative consequences of FOMO
FEAR OF MISSING OUT 29
experiences, social psychologists need to be at the forefront of understanding FOMO, conducting
research and generating hypotheses that could eventually help people deal with such experiences,
perhaps by altering their cognitions or behaviours in response to feelings of FOMO. This paper’s
discussion offers some ideas for future research directions, but many other research questions
and hypotheses could be generated. Overall, we believe that social psychology has been missing
out on FOMO, and call for more research into this phenomenon.
FEAR OF MISSING OUT 30
Footnotes
1 Other research with this sample has examined the effects of momentary temptation, self-
control, and ego-depletion on goal progress (Milyavskaya & Inzlicht, 2017), goal motivation,
desire and self-control (Milyavskaya, Inzlicht, Hope & Koestner, 2015), goal aspirational
content, goal progress, and vitality (Hope et al., 2016), trait self-compassion (Hope, Koestner &
Milyavskaya, 2014), and perfectionism (Harvey et al., 2015). None of the other studies have
examined Fear of Missing Out, and there is no overlap between the content and the hypotheses
of the present study and the other studies that have used this sample.
2 Participants also completed a mid-semester online questionnaire and a second round of
experience sampling data collection in the second half of the semester; however, because of
technical difficulties with the signal distribution platform, many of the signals did not go out at
the correct time, resulting in completion of less than 50% of the intended signals; this data was
thus not used.
3 Additional data was collected at each signal (including desires, goal conflict, and
psychological need satisfaction) but is not relevant to the current paper. A list of all collected
measures in this study can be found at https://
osf.io/gyn54/
4There were no difference by gender in the experiencing of FOMO, and gender did not
influence any of the other analyses so will not be discussed further.
5 Activities were coded into categories by six independent raters. In order to assess inter-
rater reliability, each of the raters coded the same 200 activities as two other raters. The Kappa
values for inter-rater reliability ranged from 0.83 to 0.91. The remaining 3,097 activities were
distributed equally amongst the six raters and coded independently.
FEAR OF MISSING OUT 31
6 As part of the larger data collection, participants completed other personality measures,
including behavioral inhibition and behavioral activation (BIS/BAS; Carver & White, 1994),
self-control (Tangney, et al., 2004), and self-criticism and perfectionism (Powers, Milyavskaya &
Koestner, 2012). Supplementary analyses showed that these were all unrelated to FOMO, except
for the BIS, which had a small positive correlation (r = .17, p = .05).
7 Effects of condition on affect, distraction, focus, and regret were similar to the effects on
FOMO so we do not report them here.
8 We thank an anonymous reviewer for raising this possibility.
FEAR OF MISSING OUT 32
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Table 1. Proportion of FOMO experienced by activity.
Mean SE OR (95%CI)
Studying (n=813) .222 .018 1.40 [1.13;1.73]
In class (n=396) .148 .022 0.84 [0.63;1.14]
Eating (n=311) .113 .023 0.61 [0.43;0.86]
Sleeping/resting (n=269) .179 .025 1.06 [0.76;1.49]
In transit (n=348) .158 .023 0.91 [0.71;1.18]
Socializing (n=235) .157 .026 0.91 [0.68;1.22]
Working (n=44) .306 .054 2.18 [1.00;4.75]
Media (n=364) .134 .022 0.75 [0.55;1.03]
Exercising (n=49) .201 .050 1.25 [0.69;2.26]
Other (n=786) .140 .019
Total .160
Note: Odds Ratios (ORs) are reported for the odds of experiencing FOMO in this activity
compared to the overall proportion.
Running Head: FEAR OF MISSING OUT 37
Table 2. Relation of FOMO to distraction, focus, and regret.
Distraction Focus Regret
b 95%CI β t p b 95%CI β t p b 95%CI β t p
Step 1
Positive affect -.26 [-.35; -.17] -.29 -5.62 <.001 .33 [.24; .42] .43 7.38 <.001 -.20 [-.32; .08] -.21 -3.35 .001
Negative affect .72 [.59; .86] .53 10.37 <.001 -.35 [-.48; -.22] -.30 -5.16 <.001 .64 [.46; .82] .43 7.00 <.001
Step 2
Positive affect -.12 [-.20; -.05] -.14 -3.19 .002 .27 [.18; .36] .35 6.00 <.001 -.08 [-.20; .03] -.09 -1.44 .150
Negative affect .42 [.30; .54] .31 6.809 <.001 -.22 [-.36; -.08] -.18 -3.01 .003 .38 [.20; .56] .26 4.09 <.001
Missing out .52 [.44; .60] .53 12.18 <.001 -.23 [-.32; -.13] -.27 -4.52 <.001 .45 [.32; .57] .42 6.93 <.001
Change R2 .16 .04 .10
Note: *p < .05, **p < .001
Running Head: FEAR OF MISSING OUT 38
Figure 1. Proportion of time FOMO is experienced over the course of the week.
FEAR OF MISSING OUT 39
Figure 2. Participant’s reports of missing out for each scenario.
Assignment Reading Friend
1.00
1.50
2.00
2.50
3.00
3.50
4.00
4.50
5.00
TV show
Party
Party with social media
Planned Activity
FOMO
Running Head: FEAR OF MISSING OUT 40
Appendix: Scenarios used in Study 2
Alternate Activity Assignment
Planned Activity
Reading Seeing a Friend
Watching TV You have an assignment due
tomorrow and have committed
yourself to finishing it tonight;
however, the season finale of your
favorite TV show is on as well.
You decide to keep the TV off and
finish the assignment.
You’re halfway through the latest
book in your favorite series and
have committed yourself to
finishing it tonight; however, the
season finale of your favorite TV
show is on as well. You decide to
keep the TV off and finish the
book.
Your friend is going out of town
for a few months and have
committed yourself to seeing them
before they go; however, the
season finale of your favorite TV
show is on as well. You decide to
go see your friend.
Party
You have an assignment due
tomorrow and have committed
yourself to finishing it tonight;
however, there is a close friend’s
birthday party in progress that your
friend just called to ask if you were
attending. You decide to stay in
and finish the assignment.
You’re halfway through the latest
book in your favorite series and
have committed yourself to
finishing it tonight; however, there
is a close friend’s birthday party in
progress that your friend just
called to ask if you were attending.
You decide to stay in and finish the
book.
Your friend is going out of town
for a few months and have
committed yourself to seeing them
before they go; however, there is a
close friend’s birthday party in
progress that your friend just
called to ask if you were attending.
You decide to go see your friend.
Party with social
media
You have an assignment due
tomorrow and have committed
yourself to finishing it tonight;
however there is a close friend’s
birthday party in progress that you
saw pictures of on Facebook and
Instagram, reminding you of your
invitation. You decided to stay in
and finish the assignment.
You’re halfway through the latest
book in your favorite series and
have committed yourself to
finishing it tonight; however there
is a close friend’s birthday party in
progress that you saw pictures of
on Facebook and Instagram,
reminding you of your invitation.
You decide to stay in and finish the
book.
Your friend is going out of town
for a few months and have
committed yourself to seeing them
before they go; however there is a
close friend’s birthday party in
progress that you saw pictures of
on Facebook and Instagram. You
decide to go see your friend.
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