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Open AccessArticle

Recorded Behavior as a Valuable Resource for Diagnostics in Mobile Phone Addiction: Evidence from Psychoinformatics

Institute of Psychology and Education, Ulm University, Ulm, 89081, Germany
Department of Informatics, University of Bonn, Bonn, 53117, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: John Coverdale
Behav. Sci. 2015, 5(4), 434-442;
Received: 24 June 2015 / Revised: 28 September 2015 / Accepted: 13 October 2015 / Published: 19 October 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Addictive Behaviors: Assessment and Treatment)
PDF [436 KB, uploaded 28 October 2015]


Psychologists and psychiatrists commonly rely on self-reports or interviews to diagnose or treat behavioral addictions. The present study introduces a novel source of data: recordings of the actual problem behavior under investigation. A total of N = 58 participants were asked to fill in a questionnaire measuring problematic mobile phone behavior featuring several questions on weekly phone usage. After filling in the questionnaire, all participants received an application to be installed on their smartphones, which recorded their phone usage for five weeks. The analyses revealed that weekly phone usage in hours was overestimated; in contrast, numbers of call and text message related variables were underestimated. Importantly, several associations between actual usage and being addicted to mobile phones could be derived exclusively from the recorded behavior, but not from self-report variables. The study demonstrates the potential benefit to include methods of psychoinformatics in the diagnosis and treatment of problematic mobile phone use. View Full-Text
Keywords: computer science; psychology; diagnostics; behavioral addiction; psychoinformatics computer science; psychology; diagnostics; behavioral addiction; psychoinformatics
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Montag, C.; Błaszkiewicz, K.; Lachmann, B.; Sariyska, R.; Andone, I.; Trendafilov, B.; Markowetz, A. Recorded Behavior as a Valuable Resource for Diagnostics in Mobile Phone Addiction: Evidence from Psychoinformatics. Behav. Sci. 2015, 5, 434-442.

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