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Title: Imagining consequences of excessive smartphone use via a character-based mobile application
Authors: Chow, KKN 
Leong, BD 
Lee, BYH 
Keywords: Internet addiction
Interaction design
Embodied cognition
Issue Date: Dec-2018
Publisher: Springer
Source: International journal of mental health and addiction, Dec. 2018, v. 16, no. 6, p. 1420-1434 How to cite?
Journal: International journal of mental health and addiction 
Abstract: Excessive use of smartphones or other electronic screen products and the associated symptomsof addiction among youngsters have sparked concerns. This study explores possibilities ofpreventing adolescents or young adults from excessive smartphone use via a character-basedmobile application stimulating their imagination and reflection. The character responds con-tingently to a user’s act of switching on or off the screen, causing one to associate the effects onthe character with excessive use. This approach, grounded in the embodied cognition thesis,combines behavior with imaginative consequences for one to experience, which combat therewarding neural pathways activated in addictive behaviors. The application was deployed in afield trial. Each participant’s usage was tracked via automated logging, and cognitive responseswere probed through in-depth interviews. Interview data were analyzed, followed by compar-ison with logged data. Overall, about half of the participants attributed imaginative conse-quences to their ways of using phones. One third of the participants showed evidence ofpositive change in using phones. These two groups substantially overlapped. The resultssuggest that experientially grounded association of virtual consequences with physical actscould correlate with behavior change. Using figurative representation as feedback could bepromising in supporting individuals for healthy habits.
ISSN: 1557-1874
EISSN: 1557-1882
DOI: 10.1007/s11469-018-9984-7
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