Is compulsive internet use related to sensitivity to reward and punishment, and impulsivity?

Gert-Jan Meerkerk, R Eijnden, Ingmar Franken, HFL (Henk) Garretsen

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135 Citations (Scopus)


Aim of the present study was to examine whether the personality correlates sensitivity to reward and to punishment, and impulsivity predict compulsive internet use (CIU). Furthermore, the predictive value of these personality correlates was compared to the predictive value of factors relating to psychosocial wellbeing. The results showed that particularly rash spontaneous impulsivity predicts CIU and that this personality factor is more important than psychosocial wellbeing factors. Sensitivity to reward, which is supposed to play a role in craving processes associated with substance abuse and eating disorders, could not be related to CIU. The data suggest that Internet users who are characterized by an impulsive personality feature, are less able to control their use of the internet, which makes them more vulnerable to develop CIU. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)729-735
Number of pages7
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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