Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Digital Study May Push Some to Web Addiction

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Digital Study May Push Some to Web Addiction

Article excerpt

The use of online study methods by universities risks turning students into internet addicts who are less motivated to learn, psychologists have warned.

Swansea University researchers surveyed students at three UK higher education institutions and found that 30 per cent of respondents had a form of internet addiction that they labelled as mild or worse, indicating some disruption to their lives from online activity.

Of the 162 students who took part in the study, 45 per cent spent between four and seven hours a day on the internet, and 15 per cent spent more than seven hours a day online.

Internet addicts were less motivated to study, according to responses given in the survey.

Students with mild or worse internet addiction were judged to be 10 per cent less intrinsically motivated, on average, than those without such a problem. The effect was more marked on internet-addicted students' self-efficacy, which was about 25 per cent lower.

Phil Reed, who led the study, said that the results "seem to show that prolonged problematic use of the internet seems to reduce people's ability to make long-term plans and to resist immediate temptation". …

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