Temporal stability of smartphone use data: Determining fundamental time unit and independent cycle

Yuan Chien Pan, Hsiao Han Lin, Yu Chuan Chiu, Sheng Hsuan Lin, Yu Hsuan Lin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Assessing human behaviors via smartphone for monitoring the pattern of daily behaviors has become a crucial issue in this century. Thus, a more accurate and structured methodology is needed for smartphone use research. Objective: The study aimed to investigate the duration of data collection needed to establish a reliable pattern of use, how long a smartphone use cycle could perpetuate by assessing maximum time intervals between 2 smartphone periods, and to validate smartphone use and use/nonuse reciprocity parameters. Methods: Using the Know Addiction database, we selected 33 participants and passively recorded their smartphone usage patterns for at least 8 weeks. We generated 4 parameters on the basis of smartphone use episodes, including total use frequency, total use duration, proactive use frequency, and proactive use duration. A total of 3 additional parameters (root mean square of successive differences, Control Index, and Similarity Index) were calculated to reflect impaired control and compulsive use. Results: Our findings included (1) proactive use duration correlated with subjective smartphone addiction scores, (2) a 2-week period of data collection is required to infer a 2-month period of smartphone use, and (3) smartphone use cycles with a time gap of 4 weeks between them are highly likely independent cycles. Conclusions: This study validated temporal stability for smartphone use patterns recorded by a mobile app. The results may provide researchers an opportunity to investigate human behaviors with more structured methods.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12171
JournalJournal of Medical Internet Research
Volume21
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2019

Keywords

  • Mobile phone
  • Smartphone
  • Smartphone addiction
  • Smartphone use
  • Temporal stability

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