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The role of the dark tetrad and impulsivity in social media addiction: findings from Malaysia

Chung, K. L. ORCID:, Morshidi, I., Yoong, L. C. and Thian, K. N. (2019) The role of the dark tetrad and impulsivity in social media addiction: findings from Malaysia. Personality and Individual Differences, 143. pp. 62-67. ISSN 0191-8869

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.paid.2019.02.016


The use of social media platforms is now the cornerstone of communication. Nevertheless, seemingly innocuous habitual social media use may be a signal of behavioural addiction. This study examined the relationships among the Dark Tetrad personality traits (psychopathy, narcissism, Machiavellianism, sadism), impulsivity, and social media addiction. One hundred and twenty-eight Malaysian university students completed the GoStop Impulsivity Paradigm task, a laboratory behavioural measure of impulsivity. Participants also completed the Bergen Social Media Addiction Scale, the Short Dark Triad, and the Assessment of Sadistic Personality. Data on participants' average daily time spent on social media and the number of applications they had were retrieved from their smartphones. Correlation analyses showed that average daily screen-time and psychopathy were positively associated with social media addiction. Regression analyses revealed that being a female, having spent more time on social media, and scoring higher on the psychopathy scale were related to greater levels of addiction. Apart from having a positive correlation with the number of social media applications users had, impulsivity was not associated with any of the variables of interest. This study highlights the importance of a multi-measurement approach to assessing the psycho-socio-demographic variables implicated in the initiation, development, and maintenance of addictive behaviours.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:University of Reading Malaysia
ID Code:82262


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