According to Maddux, the types of questions the researchers asked the college students -- do they check their phone first thing upon waking, is it difficult to control cellphone use, and do they "feel lost" without the device? -- aren't useful in determining how harmful the behavior might be to the person involved.
"My guess is that you could ask similar questions of a group of people about their cars, their TVs, their pets, and their friends and family members and find that lots of people have [so-called] 'addictive tendencies' toward lots of things," he said. "So calling this a study about 'technology addiction' is a stretch, to say the least," Maddux added.
"They do make a good case in the introduction that people can be addicted to behaviors -- gambling, Internet usage, video games, cellphone usage -- in ways that are very similar to the ways people can become addicted to substances," Maddux said. "Their study, however, does not make a very good case for this [when it comes to cellphone use]."
For more on addictive behaviors, visit the American Psychological Association.
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