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Missing Mobile Phone Anxiety: New 4-Dimensional Phobia Haunts Majority

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Call it missing mobile phone phobia or nomophobia or just another day of anxiety when you miss your device at home or office.

Scientists from Iowa State University have identified four dimensions of the phobia after a survey conducted on participants, who responded on a scale of one (strongly disagree) to seven (strongly agree).

More to do with the fear of losing connectedness with friends and family or not being able to access information, the fear of remaining incommunicado even for few hours haunts majority of them.

Initially the researchers interviewed nine students and based on their responses, developed a questionnaire which was given to 301 students.

Research student Caglar Yildirim at the Iowa State University (ISU) and Ana-Paula Correia, an associate professor in ISU’s School of Education finally came out with a set of four dimensions to detect the most-prevalent modern-day phenomenon that is often taking the shape of phobia.

Based on the score, the researchers said the higher scores corresponded to greater nomophobia severity, and vice versa. The team findings have been published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior.

Here are the sample questions in the questionnaire:

— “I would feel uncomfortable without constant access to information through my smartphone”

— “I would be annoyed if I could not look information up on my smartphone when I wanted to do so”.

“Being unable to get the news on my smartphone would make me nervous” or
“I would be annoyed if I could not use my smartphone and/or its capabilities when I wanted to do so”.

— “Running out of battery in my smartphone would scare me”

— “If I were to run out of credits or hit my monthly data limit, I would panic” and
“If I did not have a data signal or could not connect to Wi-Fi, then I would constantly check to see if I had a signal or could find a Wi-Fi network”.

Here are some typical answers from the participants:

— “If I could not use my smartphone, I would be afraid of getting stranded somewhere”.

— “If I could not check my smartphone for a while, I would feel a desire to check it”.

To a question as to how they would react if they did not have their smartphone with them, they responded with statements like:

— “I would feel anxious because I could not instantly communicate with my family and/or friends”

— “I would feel nervous because I would not be able to receive text messages and calls.”

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