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The Internet’s effect on personality traits: An important casualty of the “Internet addiction” paradigm

Aboujaoude, Elias (2017) The Internet’s effect on personality traits: An important casualty of the “Internet addiction” paradigm. Journal of Behavioral Addictions, 6 (1). pp. 1-4. ISSN 2062-5871

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Abstract

The “Internet addiction” paradigm has been criticized for several shortcomings, including inattention to specific online behaviors, not distinguishing the Internet from other media, insufficient focus on comorbidities, and definitions that do not take into account the constant access now possible. The paradigm’s biggest casualty, however, may be that it has diverted attention away from subtle personality changes that seem to occur online, including in users who cannot be considered “addicted” under any definition. Methods A narrative assessment of the literature was conducted, focusing on the Internet’s effects on personality traits as revealed in studies of Internet users. Results Impulsivity, narcissism, and aggression are some of the personality traits that seem to be nurtured by the Internet, with possible negative offline consequences. Discussion Ignoring the Internet’s subtle effects on personality as we embrace an addiction model that implies severe pathology makes the majority of Internet users feel deceptively immune to the psychological effects of new technologies. It also limits our understanding of the big cultural shifts that are happening as a result.<sec sec-type="conclusion"> Conclusion The Internet’s potentially negative effect on personality, and by extension on society at large, is a fundamental part of online psychology, one well worthy of further investigation.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion / filozófia, pszichológia, vallás > BF Psychology / lélektan
Depositing User: László Sallai-Tóth
Date Deposited: 24 Apr 2017 13:42
Last Modified: 24 Apr 2017 13:42
URI: http://real.mtak.hu/id/eprint/51066

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