Internet Over-Users' Psychological Profiles: A Behavior Sampling Analysis on Internet Addiction

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INTERNET addiction
INTERNET
INTERNET users

Abstract:What kinds of psychological features do people have when they are overly involved in usage of the internet? Internet users in Korea were investigated in terms of internet over-use and related psychological profiles by the level of internet use. We used a modified Young's Internet Addiction Scale, and 13,588 users (7,878 males, 5,710 females), out of 20 million from a major portal site in Korea, participated in this study. Among the sample, 3.5% had been diagnosed as internet addicts (IA), while 18.4% of them were classified as possible internet addicts (PA). The Internet Addiction Scale showed a strong relationship with dysfunctional social behaviors. More IA tried to escape from reality than PA and Non-addicts (NA). When they got stressed out by work or were just depressed, IA showed a high tendency to access the internet. The IA group also reported the highest degree of loneliness, depressed mood, and compulsivity compared to the other groups. The IA group seemed to be more vulnerable to interpersonal dangers than others, showing an unusually close feeling for strangers. Further study is needed to investigate the direct relationship between psychological well-being and internet dependency.

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