Differential Psychological Impact of Internet Exposure on Internet Addicts

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Romano, Michela ; Osborne, Lisa A. ; Truzoli, Roberto ; Reed, Phil (2013)
  • Publisher: Public Library of Science
  • Journal: PLoS ONE, volume 8, issue 2 (issn: 1932-6203, eissn: 1932-6203)
  • Related identifiers: pmc: PMC3567114, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0055162
  • Subject: Psychological and Psychosocial Issues | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Research Article | Mental Health | Psychological Stress | Health Care Policy | Psychiatry | Computer Science | Psychology | Personality | Behavior | Web-Based Applications | Non-Clinical Medicine | Clinical Psychology | Settore M-PSI/08 - Psicologia Clinica | Mood Disorders | Psychometrics | Medicine | Anxiety Disorders | Experimental Psychology | Q | R | Computer Applications | Science | Applied Psychology | internet; psychology | Neuropsychiatric Disorders
    mesheuropmc: education | behavioral disciplines and activities | mental disorders

The study explored the immediate impact of internet exposure on the mood and psychological states of internet addicts and low internet-users. Participants were given a battery of psychological tests to explore levels of internet addiction, mood, anxiety, depression, schizotypy, and autism traits. They were then given exposure to the internet for 15 min, and re-tested for mood and current anxiety. Internet addiction was associated with long-standing depression, impulsive nonconformity, and autism traits. High internet-users also showed a pronounced decrease in mood following internet use compared to the low internet-users. The immediate negative impact of exposure to the internet on the mood of internet addicts may contribute to increased usage by those individuals attempting to reduce their low mood by re-engaging rapidly in internet use.
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