Quantifyingsmartphone‘use’: Choice of measurement impacts relationships between ‘usage’and health.

Shaw, Heather and Ellis, David and Geyer, Kristoffer and Davidson, Brittany and Ziegler, Fenja and Smith, Alice (2020) Quantifyingsmartphone‘use’: Choice of measurement impacts relationships between ‘usage’and health. Technology, Mind, and Behavior. ISSN 2689-0208 (In Press)

Full text not available from this repository.


Problematic smartphone scalesand duration estimates of use dominate research that considers the impact of smartphones on people and society. However, issues with conceptualisation and subsequent measurementcan obscuregenuine associations between technology use and health. Here, we consider whether different ways of measuring ‘smartphone use’, notably through problematicsmartphone usage (PSU)scales, subjective estimates, orobjective logs, leads to contrasting associations between mental and physical health.Across two samples including iPhone (n=199) and Android (n=46) users, we observed that measuring smartphone interactions with PSU scales produced larger associations betweenmental health when compared with subjective estimates or objective logs. Notably, the size of the relationship was fourfold in Study 1, and almost three timesas large in Study 2when relying on a smartphone ‘addiction’scale instead ofobjective measures.Further, in regression models, only smartphone ‘addiction’scorespredictedmental health outcomes, whereas objective logs or estimates were not significant predictors.We conclude thataddressing people’s appraisalsincluding worriesabout their technology usage is likely to have greater mental health benefits than reducing their overall smartphone use. Reducing general smartphone useshould therefore not be a priority for public health interventions at this time.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Technology, Mind, and Behavior
ID Code:
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
22 Oct 2020 08:55
In Press
Last Modified:
28 Oct 2020 08:06