In the limited existing research on smartphone addiction, reinforcement reward and automatic habit have been identified as two distinct underlying mechanisms. The purpose of this paper is to better understand the interaction between these two mechanisms, as well as role of smartphone features in activating different formation mechanisms.
An online survey with 379 samples was conducted to empirically validate the model. The data were analyzed by structural equation modeling approach.
The automatic habit strengthens the driving effects of reinforcement rewards (i.e. perceived enjoyment and mood regulation) on smartphone addiction. Smartphone features activate distinct underlying mechanisms. Value-added function facilitates the perception of reinforcement rewards, while convenience promotes the habit formation.
This study is one of the first ones that assess the interplay between the two formation mechanisms in the extant literature on smartphone addiction. This study also reveals the dangers of smartphone features which have always been regarded as advantages. The findings contribute to the current understandings of smartphone addiction.
The work described in this study was supported by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos 71801166, 71671174, 71671119), the Philosophy and Social Science Research in Colleges and Universities of Jiangsu Province (No. 2018SJA1298) and Hong Kong Special Administrative Region , China (No. CityU 11508917).
Chen, C., Zhang, K.Z.K., Gong, X. and Lee, M. (2019), "Dual mechanisms of reinforcement reward and habit in driving smartphone addiction: The role of smartphone features", Internet Research, Vol. 29 No. 6, pp. 1551-1570. https://doi.org/10.1108/INTR-11-2018-0489Download as .RIS
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