Facebook Addiction – New Psychological Scale

Researchers in Norway have published anew psychological scale to measure Facebook addiction, the first of its kind worldwide. They write about their work in the April 2012 issue of the journalPsychological Reports. They hope that researchers will find the new psychometric tool useful in investigating problem behavior linked to Facebook use. However, an accompanying article suggests a more useful approach might be to measureaddiction to social networking as an activity, rather than addiction to a specific product like Facebook. This is particularly relevant given that Facebook is now more than a social networking site (for instance users can watch videos and films, gamble and play games on the site) and social networking is not confined to Facebook. The new measure is called the BFAS, short for the Bergen Facebook Addiction Scale and is the work of Dr. Cecilie Andraessen at the University of Bergen (UiB), Norway, and colleagues. Andreassen currently leads the Facebook Addiction research project at UiB. In their paper, Andraessen and colleagues describe how they started out with a pool of 18 items made up of three items for each of the six core elements of addiction: salience, mood modification, tolerance, withdrawal, conflict, and relapse. In January 2011, they invited 423 students (227 women and 196 men) to complete the draft BFAS questionnaire, along with a battery of other standardized self-report scales of personality, sleep, sociability, attitudes towards Facebook, and addictive tendencies. Bergen Facebook Addiction Scale Eventually, Andraessen and colleagues finalized the BFAS to six basic criteria, with participants asked to give one the following 5 responses to each one: (1) Very rarely, (2) Rarely, (3) Sometimes, (4) Often, and...
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