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The Validity of Internet Addiction

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As mentioned previously, there's lots to be skeptical about the emergence of Internet Addiction.  Now comes a new study, highly critical of this ostensibly new mental illness.  Via Mind Hacks:

Dr Shock covers a new study examining the validity of one of the most popular methods for diagnosing 'internet addiction', Young's Diagnostic Questionnaire, finding it lacks even the most basic ability to distinguish between frequent and infrequent net users...

...the study did clearly show, however, is that the criteria for distinguishing 'addicts' from 'non-addicts', which has been the basis of the majority of 'internet addiction' research, doesn't even reliably distinguish between amount of use and psychological distress.

As Mind Hacks also mentions, this study comes on the heals of another highly critical study:

The analysis showed that previous studies have utilized inconsistent criteria to define Internet addicts, applied recruiting methods that may cause serious sampling bias, and examined data using primarily exploratory rather than confirmatory data analysis techniques to investigate the degree of association rather than causal relationships among variables.

It will interesting to see whether the authors of the DSM-V decide to formally endorse internet addiction as a mental disorder despite these findings.


1 Comment

Then why can't I stop reading this website?

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