Problematic smartphone use has four main aims:
1. Understand the major theoretical approaches used to explain
This is important as these theories underlie the major approaches used to treat clients in clinical and health-related contexts and are also relevant to understanding behaviour in other settings such as organisations.
It is important that you have some understanding of how to apply theoretical frameworks in a way that allows you to gain insights into behaviours you may want to alter.
2. Be able to apply these theories to solve realistic problems.
Research (2008) has shown that both employers and recent graduates rate graduate skills (especially communication skills) as one of the most important factors affecting employability. Also, many of you want to move into a fourth year and then postgraduate programs. Analytic and communication (especially written) skills are very important to success in these courses which have a substantial thesis component.
3. Develop your analytic and communication skills.
4. Understand how personality inventories are used to assess personality.
Like almost all constructs that we study in psychology, personality is a not a physical ‘thing’ that is able to be objectively measured. Hence, in order to try to measure something we can’t see, we make scales that are tested on big populations and hopefully feel reasonably confident that they are measuring what we think they are measuring. Understanding the psychometric properties of different scales, as well as their strengths and weaknesses, is an important part of being able to decide what scale, if any, you use in clinical practice or a research design.
The assignment tasks are designed to not only improve your application, analytic, and writing skills in the context of personality theory, but also your interest in the subject matter. We hope that this will help you perform well on the assessment tasks, but, more importantly, that it will teach you important skills that will help you as a graduate regardless of whether you enter the workforce or continue on to do further study.
In recent years, the use of smart technologies in research and therapy has been increasing dramatically. Smartphones and other portable internet-enabled devices are routinely used for real-time data collection and dissemination of online therapeutic programs. Smart devices are proving to be very successful in supporting people with mental health concerns, with apps and programs that are designed to encourage mindfulness, supportive professional and peer networks, as well as ‘bite size’ therapeutic videos. In this sense, smart technologies can have a positive impact on wellbeing.
Over the past decade however, a completely novel individual and social issue has been emerging — smartphone addiction (also referred to as internet addiction, screen addiction, problematic smartphone use, etc.). Social media and easy access to the online world has become a ubiquitous and normal part of life, however our consumption of internet-based media is far from what might be considered normal. In Australia, data* from 2015 indicated that:
Approximately 88% of Australians own a smartphone.
Of Australian adolescents, approximately 94% own a smartphone.
• Australian households currently have an average of 9 internet-connected devices.
• 35% of Australians check their phone within five minutes of waking up in the morning.
We are a nation of screen users, however excessive screen use can become problematic for some people. Addiction-like behaviours can emerge, such as cravings, tolerance, and withdrawal. Addiction to screens has been associated with decreases in productivity, social functioning, positive affect, and wellbeing. In the case of adolescents, the potential developmental impacts of screen addiction (for example, neurological development, social skills development, intimate relationship formation etc.) will not be known for many years to come. We are in the midst of completely new social paradigm.
So, here’s the problem. How do we begin to understand a relatively new phenomenon in psychology? What are the possible mechanisms that might explain a growing trend in problematic use of smartphones? One way we can
related to the behaviour in question than the other. We can also look to research in related areas, such as behavioural addiction research.
In order to look more closely at this issue, we will investigate whether the Big 5 personality traits are related to excessive screen use compared to another possible trait explanation, emotion regulation. HPS791 students will also look at some individual behavioural items related to health; alcohol and tobacco use, and exercise. Your task is to think about which Big 5 factors may be related to excessive screen use and why, but also how personality and emotion regulation together may be able to explain a person’s relationship to their smartphone.
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