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Anxiety related distractibility deficits: too much smartphone use is not such a smart call

Edwards, Elizabeth J., McLeod, Geoffrey, Vaughan, Robert S. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1573-7000 and Khan, Asaduzzaman (2023) Anxiety related distractibility deficits: too much smartphone use is not such a smart call. Behaviour & Information Technology. pp. 1-8.

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Smartphones can increase productivity and ease accessing information, however the possible negative implications for high smartphone use or problematic smartphone use (PSU) are not fully understood. The current study examined anxiety-linked memory and attention deficits to determine whether PSU moderates these relationships. Cross-sectional data from 506 young adults aged 18–29 years (68% female) were analysed in separate regression models to investigate whether PSU (Mobile Phone Problem Use scale) moderated the relationship between state and trait anxiety (State-Cognitive and Trait-Cognitive subscales of State Trait Inventory for Cognitive and Somatic Anxiety) and everyday memory and attentional failures (the False Triggering, Forgetfulness and Distractibility subscales of the Cognitive Failures Questionnaire). Our results showed that PSU moderated the combined influence of state and trait anxiety for distractibility, such that those who reported higher PSU and higher trait anxiety reported greater errors of distractibility during higher, but not lower state anxiety. However, our predictions for false triggering and forgetfulness were not supported; the only significant finding was a trend for higher trait anxiety to be related to increased failures of false triggering and forgetfulness. Real-world implications of findings are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/0144929X.2023.2274891
School/Department: School of Education, Language and Psychology
URI: https://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/9007

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