Beyond self-report: tools to compare estimated and real-world smartphone use

Andrews, S., Ellis, D. A., Shaw, H. and Piwek, L. (2015) Beyond self-report: tools to compare estimated and real-world smartphone use. PLoS ONE, 10 (10). e0139004. ISSN 1932-6203

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Psychologists typically rely on self-report data when quantifying mobile phone usage, despite little evidence of its validity. In this paper we explore the accuracy of using self-reported estimates when compared with actual smartphone use. We also include source code to process and visualise these data. We compared 23 participants' actual smartphone use over a two-week period with self-reported estimates and the Mobile Phone Problem Use Scale. Our results indicate that estimated time spent using a smartphone may be an adequate measure of use, unless a greater resolution of data are required. Estimates concerning the number of times an individual used their phone across a typical day did not correlate with actual smartphone use. Neither estimated duration nor number of uses correlated with the Mobile Phone Problem Use Scale. We conclude that estimated smartphone use should be interpreted with caution in psychological research.

Keywords:smartphones, time perception, habit formation, checking behaviours, ambulatory assessment, JCOpen
Subjects:G Mathematical and Computer Sciences > G400 Computer Science
C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
G Mathematical and Computer Sciences > G440 Human-computer Interaction
C Biological Sciences > C841 Health Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C810 Applied Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C880 Social Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:18613
Deposited On:10 Sep 2015 12:37

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