Technology-related transformations of imaginary body boundaries: Psychopathology of the everyday excessive Internet and mobile phone use.
Background. In line with the approach of Larkin et al. (2006), we consider technological dependence in the context of the interaction between personality, environment, and culture.
Objective. The aim of this study is to discover technology-related changes in psycho- logical needs and boundaries that could mediate the relationship between psychopathological symptoms and indicators of excessive use of info-communication technologies (ICT). The application of the Body Function Regulation Model to the use of ICT suggests that technology-related changes in the system of an individual’s needs and psychological boundaries mediate the relationship between a sense of poor psychological well-being and the risk of technology dependence.
Design. The study of a normative sample (N = 275) using two technologies–mobile phones and the Internet–was performed.
Results and Discussion. We demonstrated that the relationship between the general level of psychopathological symptoms and excessive use of technology (subjective dependence and inability to refrain from use of mobile phones and the Internet) is indeed mediated by the perception of their indispensability for extension of psychological boundaries, and (for the Internet) its use in image-making.
Themes: Cognitive psychology
Keywords: Body function regulation model, psychological consequences of technologies, psychopathological complaints, the revised version of the Technology-Related Psychological Consequences Questionnaire, excessive use of technologies