A preliminary investigation of materialism and impulsiveness as predictors of technological addictions among young adult
Journal of Behavioral Addictions (Volume 2 number 1), pp. 56-62., March 2013
Stephen F. Pirog III, Ph.D.
Department of Marketing
James A. Roberts
The study places cell phone and instant messaging addiction in the broader context of consumption pathologies, investigating the influence of materialism and impulsiveness on misuse of these two technologies. A survey of College undergraduates (N= 191) from two U.S. universities was employed to measure materialism, impulsiveness, and mobile phone and instant messaging addictive tendencies. Factor analysis supported the discriminant validity of Ehrenberg, Juckes, White and Walsh’s (2008) Mobile Phone and Instant Messaging Addictive Tendencies Scale. The path model indicates that both materialism and impulsiveness impact the two addictive tendencies, and that materialism’s direct impact on these addictions has a noticeably larger effect on cell phone use than instant messaging. As Griffiths (2012) rightly warns, however, researchers must be aware that one’s addiction may not simply be to the cell phone, but to a particular activity or function of the cell phone. The emergence of multi-function smart phones requires that research dig beneath the technology being used to the activities that draw the user to the particular technology.