Using a smartphone while walking: the cost of smartphone-addiction proneness

Article de revue


État de publication: Publiée (2019 )

Nom de la revue: Addictive Behaviors


Résumé: Distracted walking is an ever-increasing problem. Studies have already shown that using a smartphone while walking impairs attention and increases the risk of accidents. This study seeks to determine if smartphone-addiction proneness magnifies the risks of using a smartphone while walking. In an experimental design, participants, while walking on a treadmill and engaged in a smartphone task, were required to switch tasks by responding to an external stimulus, i.e., determining the direction of movement of a point-light walker. Participants were chosen to cover a range of smartphone-addiction proneness. Four smartphone-use conditions were simulated: a control condition with no smartphone-use, an individual conversation condition, a gaming condition, and a group conversation condition. Our results show that using a smartphone while walking decreases accuracy and increases the number of missed stimuli. Moreover, participants with higher smartphone-addiction proneness scores were also prone to missing more stimuli, and this effect was found regardless of experimental condition. The effect of the smartphone task on accuracy and the number of missed stimuli was mediated by the emotional arousal caused by the smartphone task. Smartphone-addiction proneness was positively correlated with a declared frequency of smartphone use while walking. Furthermore, of all the smartphone tasks, the gaming condition was found to be the most distracting.