“Despite legal regulations and significant campaigns for traffic safety, a group of drivers remain reluctant to refrain from holding mobile phones while at the steering wheel. Other problems are caused by the considerable amount of debt incurred by the excessive use of mobile phones and the harassment of others through bullying or obscene calls,” as Motoharu Takao, Susumu Takahashi, and Masayoshi Kitamura, the authors of this research, explain.
These behaviors are similar to addictive behaviors in which a person compulsively engages in an act that has repeatedly resulted in negative consequences.
Unfortunately, due to the complex nature of the behaviors involved in cell phone use, and the lack of any diagnostic criteria for cell phone addiction, the authors of this study could not study cell phone addiction itself.
Instead, they examined personality traits that are associated with addictive behaviors, such as low self-esteem, loneliness, and self-monitoring.
Takao, Takahashi, and Kitamura found that high self-monitoring and low self-esteem were both associated with problematic cell phone use.
Self-monitoring refers to a personality trait defined as “the tendency to monitor and regulate the public self.”
There was no association found between loneliness and problematic mobile phone use.
The results of this study are based on 444 questionnaires administered to college students from a variety of universities.
Takao, M., Takahashi, S. & Kitamura, M. (2009). Addictive personality and problematic mobile phone use. CyberPsychology & Behavior, Vol 12, N0 5.