New Scale Measures Facebook Addiction

Posted on 6/18/2012 by meg


With devices like smartphones and ipads, accessing social media sites has become increasing effortless.  However, such convenience could lead to an addiction to sites like Facebook.  To determine this, researchers from Norway developed the Bergen Facebook Addiction Scale, which was tested on 227 female and 196 male students in January 2011.

Doctor of Psychology Cecilie Schou Andreassen, lead researcher in the “Facebook Addiction” study claims that this is the first of its kind in relation to social media.

According to Andreassen, Facebook addiction "occurs more regularly among younger than older users. We have also found that people who are anxious and socially insecure use Facebook more than those with lower scores on those traits, probably because those who are anxious find it easier to communicate via social media than face-to-face."   Also, facebook addiction seems to be more prevalent among females, which Dr. Andreassen claims may result from the social aspect of facebooking.  Surprisingly, this new measurement found that facebook addiction is related to extraversion as well as a delayed sleep-wake rhythm.    

On the other hand, individuals with more ambition and organizational skills tend to be less susceptible to Facebook addiction.  Additionally, these same individuals often use social media for work or networking rather than personal use.

The Bergen Facebook Addiction Scale is based on self-reporting on six basic criteria with a rating of (1) Very rarely, (2) Rarely, (3) Sometimes, (4) Often, or (5) Very often:

  • You spend a lot of time thinking about Facebook or plan use of Facebook.
  • You feel an urge to use Facebook more and more.
  • You use Facebook in order to forget about personal problems.
  • You have tried to cut down on the use of Facebook without success.
  • You become restless or troubled if you are prohibited from using Facebook.
  • You use Facebook so much that it has had a negative impact on your job/studies
A score of “often” or “always” on at least four of six criteria could suggest an addiction to Facebook.

How do you measure up?


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