Press Esc to close
Thursday 31 July 2014
News updated at 8:55 PM IST
Weather
Max: 0°C
Min : 0°C
In Bangalore
Sunny day

Heavy Internet users show symptoms of addiction

Washington, Dec 23 , 2013 (PTI)
Reuters Image

Young adults who are heavy users of the Internet may also exhibit signs of addiction, scientists, including Indian-origin researchers, have found.

Researchers at Missouri University of Science and Technology, Duke University Medical Center and the Duke Institute of Brain Sciences compared Internet usage with measures of addiction.

The research, presented on December 18 at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) International Conference on Advanced Networks and Telecommunications Systems in Chennai, India, tracked the Internet usage of 69 college students over two months.


It revealed a correlation between certain types of Internet usage and addictive behaviours.

"The findings provide significant new insights into the association between Internet use and addictive behaviour," said Dr Sriram Chellappan, an assistant professor of computer science at Missouri S&T and the lead researcher of the study.

At the beginning of the study, the 69 students completed a 20-question survey called the Internet-Related Problem Scale (IRPS). The IRPS measures the level of problem a person is having due to Internet usage, on a scale of 0 to 200.

This scale was developed to identify characteristics of addiction, such as introversion, withdrawal, craving, tolerance and negative life consequences.

The researchers simultaneously tracked the campus Internet usage of participating students over two months.

Chellappan, working with Dr P Murali Doraiswamy, a professor of psychiatry and behavioural sciences at Duke University Medical Center, found that the range of IRPS scores among participating students over the two-month period ranged from 30 to 134 on the 200-point scale.

The average score was 75. Participants' total Internet usage ranged from 140 megabytes to 51 gigabytes, with an average of 7 gigabytes.

The subjects' Internet usage was divided into several categories, including gaming, chatting, file downloading, email, browsing and social networking (Facebook and Twitter).
The total IRPS scores exhibited the highest correlations with gaming, chatting and browsing, and the lowest with email and social networking.

The researchers also observed that specific symptoms measured by the scale correlated with specific categories of Internet usage. They found that introversion was closely tied to gaming and chatting; craving to gaming, chatting and file downloading; and loss of control to gaming.

"About 5 to 10 per cent of all Internet users appear to show web dependency, and brain imaging studies show that compulsive Internet use may induce changes in some brain reward pathways that are similar to that seen in drug addiction," said Doraiswamy.

The team cautioned that the current study is exploratory and does not establish a cause and effect relationship between Internet usage and addictive behaviour.

Go to Top

Photo Gallery
India's Navjot Kaur celebrates after winning a bronze medal against Scotland's Sarah Jones during...

India's Navjot Kaur celebrates after winning a bronze medal against Scotland's Sarah Jones during...

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker walk from South...

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker walk from South...

U S Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with National Security Adviser Ajit Doval after...

U S Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with National Security Adviser Ajit Doval after...

Sophie McKinna of England sticks her tongue out as she competes in the Women's Shot Put final at...

Sophie McKinna of England sticks her tongue out as she competes in the Women's Shot Put final at...

Australia's Olivia Vivian performs at the women's All-Around Artistic Gymnastics at the 2014...

Australia's Olivia Vivian performs at the women's All-Around Artistic Gymnastics at the 2014...

David Katoatau of Kiribati dances after winning the gold medal of the men's 105kg weightlifting...

David Katoatau of Kiribati dances after winning the gold medal of the men's 105kg weightlifting...

Schillonie Calvert of Jamaica (R) races Anyika Onuora of England during their women's 200 metres...

Schillonie Calvert of Jamaica (R) races Anyika Onuora of England during their women's 200 metres...

Canada's Isabela Maria Onyshko performs at the women's All-Around Artistic Gymnastics at the 2014...

Canada's Isabela Maria Onyshko performs at the women's All-Around Artistic Gymnastics at the 2014...

Silver medallist India's Lalita poses for photographs at the medal ceremony of women's Freestyle...

Silver medallist India's Lalita poses for photographs at the medal ceremony of women's Freestyle...

India's Vijender Singh after winning against Trinidad and Tobago's Aaron Prince in the Men's...

India's Vijender Singh after winning against Trinidad and Tobago's Aaron Prince in the Men's...

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bangalore - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523