Are Adolescents Addicted to Smartphones? A Perspective Using the Rational Addiction Model



[Title]

Are Adolescents Addicted to Smartphones? A Perspective Using the Rational Addiction Model


[Author]

Geunyong Park (Yonsei University)

Jisun Lin (Korea Military Academy)


[Abstract]

This empirical study shows how people use their smartphones by employing the rational addiction model of Becker and Murphy. The analysis uses micro-level panel data on the monthly usage of smartphone applications (so-called “apps”) derived from 10,337 users in South Korea, from 2012 to 2016. The authors find that smartphone users are “addicted” to mobile phone apps, in the sense that their prior usage has significantly influenced their current use. Nonetheless, people in the sample seem to use their smartphones in a forward-looking manner, adjusting consumption over time to maximize their utility. On the other hand, the study’s result rejects the conventional belief that younger individuals behave more myopically than older ones. Furthermore, only the mother’s smartphone use was found to generate a positive externality for her children.


[Keywords]

Adolescents, App Usage Data, Panel Data Analysis, Parental Effect, Rational Addiction Model, Smartphone Addiction, Smartphone Use, South Korea


International Journal of Cyber Behavior, Psychology, and Learning, Vol.8 No.1, pp.1-24


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