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Front Psychol. 2018 Dec 18;9:2597. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02597. eCollection 2018.

Internet Use Influences Self-Related Process: Evidence From Behavior and ERPs.

Zhao G1,2, Zhang Y3, Kong F1,2, Liu Z1,2, Wang Y1,2, Zhou B1,2, Zhang X1,2, Tang F1,2, Zhou Z1,2.

Author information

1
School of Psychology, Central China Normal University, Wuhan, China.
2
Key Laboratory of Adolescent Cyberpsychology and Behavior, Ministry of Education, Wuhan, China.
3
School of Education, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China.

Abstract

The present study aimed to examine whether a self-related stimulus produces a self-related process bias between pathological-tendency Internet users and ordinary Internet users. Participants were asked to judge the color of the target stimulus' frame (Internet pictures) in an implicit priming task, which enclosed the prime of self/other related words and the target of the online image in sequence. Results from Experiment 1 showed that response time (RT) in the self-related condition was significantly longer than that of the other related condition. Further analysis showed that RT in the self-related condition was significantly longer than that under the other related conditions for pathological-tendency Internet users but not for ordinary Internet users. In Experiment 2, behavior results demonstrated that RT under the self-related condition was significantly longer than that in the other-related condition for both groups, and the RT was shorter for pathological-tendency Internet users than that of the ordinary Internet users. Moreover, ERP data showed that the N2 amplitude was larger in the self-related condition than that of other related conditions for pathological-tendency Internet users but not for ordinary Internet users. The amplitudes of late positive component (LPC) was smaller in the self-related condition than those of the other related conditions. Hence, the Internet use influenced the inhibition control in self-unrelated stimuli and automatically retrieved the self-related stimuli.

KEYWORDS:

Internet use; LPC; N2; implicit priming task; self-related stimuli

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