International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Nomophobia Impacts Physiological Arousal of Moderate and Heavy Smartphone Users Who are not Allowed to Access Text Messages during a Cognitive Task
Nancy A. Cheever, Larry D. Rosen, Marcos Jimenez, Jose Franco, L. Mark Carrier

This study examined physiological stress reactions—galvanic skin response (GSR) and heart rate—to an induced state of nomophobia (inability to use one’s smartphone). A 2 x 2 experimental design was employed: half the participants received text message smartphone alerts that they could not answer; the other half silenced and put away their phones. Half the participants were heavy technology users and half were moderate technology users to examine stress reactions between groups that had previously displayed differing levels of self-reported anxiety. Those receiving unanswerable text messages demonstrated statistically higher GSR ranges immediately following alerts than the group who received no text messages. There were no differences in heart rate and no differences in GSR between heavy and moderate technology users. Not being able to access a text message induced strong measurable skin conductance spikes across both heavy and moderate technology users indicating that adult college students experience nomophobia physiologically.

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