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Psychiatry Investig. 2017 Mar;14(2):198-204. doi: 10.4306/pi.2017.14.2.198. Epub 2017 Mar 6.

Comparing the Self-Report and Measured Smartphone Usage of College Students: A Pilot Study.

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Department of Electrical and Information Engineering, Seoul National University of Science and Technology, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
Healthcare and Information Research Institute, Namseoul University, Cheonan, Republic of Korea.
Department of Psychiatry, Seoul St. Mary's Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea.



Nowadays smartphone overuse has become a social and medical concern. For the diagnosis and treatment, clinicians use the self-report information, but the report data often does not match actual usage pattern. The paper examines the similarity and variance in smartphone usage patterns between the measured data and self-reported data.


Together with the self-reported data, the real usage log data is collected from 35 college students in a metropolitan region of Northeast Asia, using Android smartphone monitoring application developed by the authors.


The unconscious users underestimate their usage time by 40%, in spite of 15% more use in the actual usage. Messengers are most-used application regardless of their self-report, and significant preference to SNS applications was observed in addict group. The actual hourly pattern is consistent with the reported one. College students use more in the afternoon, when they have more free time and cannot use PCs. No significant difference in hourly pattern is observed between the measured and self-report.


The result shows there are significant cognitive bias in actual usage patterns exists in self report of smartphone addictions. Clinicians are recommended to utilize measurement tools in diagnosis and treatment of smartphone overusing subjects.


Behavior monitoring; Behavioral addiction; Pilot study; Smartphone

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