Nature or nurture? An analysis of rational addiction to mobile social applications

Hyeokoo Eric Kwon, Hyunji So, Sang Han, Wonseok Oh

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Through the lens of rational addiction theory (Becker and Murphy, 1988), this study investigates whether addiction to mobile social apps should be viewed as a rational behavior rather than an uncontrollable, irrational disorder. To derive the analytical model, this study extends the rational addiction framework to include a utility-level network effect as the key factor that regulates the inter-temporal consumption of mobile social apps. Further, to validate empirically the rational addiction model in this context, we gathered and analyzed longitudinal panel data on the weekly app usage of thousands of smartphone users. The findings suggest that consistent with the rational addiction theory, users of mobile social apps are rational and forward-looking. They determine their current consumption based on both past and future consumption and the utility derived from network effects. However, the extent of rational addiction to mobile social apps varies considerably across diverse demographic groups and app categories.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication35th International Conference on Information Systems "Building a Better World Through Information Systems", ICIS 2014
PublisherAssociation for Information Systems
StatePublished - 2014
Event35th International Conference on Information Systems: Building a Better World Through Information Systems, ICIS 2014 - Auckland, New Zealand
Duration: Dec 14 2014Dec 17 2014

Other

Other35th International Conference on Information Systems: Building a Better World Through Information Systems, ICIS 2014
CountryNew Zealand
CityAuckland
Period12/14/1412/17/14

Keywords

  • GMM
  • Mobile apps
  • Network effects
  • Panel data
  • Rational addiction
  • Social exchanges

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Science Applications

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