Predicting Psychological Characteristics by Smartphone Usage Behaviors

Predicting Psychological Characteristics by Smartphone Usage Behaviors

Yusong Gao (University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, China), Minglong Lei (The 6th Research Institute of China Electronics Corporation, China) and Tingshao Zhu (Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8239-9.ch036
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Abstract

In recent years, smartphones become rapidly popular across the world. Meanwhile, since mental health problems became more serious, psychological characteristics including personalities and mental health state draw more researchers' attention. Generally, self-report and interview are two mostly used techniques for assessing people's mental state or personality traits. In this chapter, we overviewed some researches that focused on accessing psychological characteristics by smartphone usage behaviors. Firstly, we discussed some previous researches analyzing smartphone usage behaviors and psychological characteristics, and further discussed typical research work predicting psychological characteristics based on smartphone usage behaviors. In these literatures, results indicated that most dimensions of users' mental state and personality traits could be identified from their smartphone usage fairly well.
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Introduction

Smartphone Usage

Morality-building devices refer to small handheld computing devices, typically having a display screen with touch input and/or a miniature keyboard. In recent years, smartphone is the most popular device among various kinds of morality-building devices. Since smartphone has rich resourced powerful functions and sensors, it has been widely used across the world in recent years. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, a total of 1,004.2 million smartphones were shipped worldwide in 2013, up 38.4% from the 725.3 million units in 2012. Smartphones accounted for 55.1% of all mobile phone shipments in 2013, up from the 41.7% of all mobile phone shipments in 2012 (Llamas et al., 2014). Owing to the long list of OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) partners, a broad and deep collection of devices, and price points, Android evidently becomes the leader in the smartphone operating system race since the year where it began.

As smartphone is built on a mobile operating system with advanced computing capability, there are millions of mobile applications developed by third-party developers and distributed on various digital distribution platforms such as Google Paly and App Store. With so many choices on extending smartphone’s functionalities, smartphone becomes an indispensable part of our daily lives as an attractive tool for communication and interpersonal interaction.

There are various definitions of phone usage behavior, some researchers took it as part of the functions using of mobile phones, such as telephone, calendar, SMS using frequency, etc. (Coen et al., 2002). Suh et al. (2003) took some specific phone features as phone usage behavior, such as mobile e-commerce usage. Soikkeli et al. (2011) described it as users’ interactions with the device and the applications used. In this chapter, we investigated the interactions between users and their devices to explore individual’s phone usage behavior, such as frequency of telephone, SMS, application use, phone switch habits, wallpaper changing, GPS using, etc.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Loneliness: One of the least satisfactorily conceptualized psychological phenomena, which plays an essential role in the genesis of mental disorder.

Phone Usage Behavior: The interactions between users and their phones, including telephone use, SMS use, application use, phone switch habits, wallpaper changing, GPS using, etc.

Interaction Anxiousness: The subjective or affective component of social anxiety. People with social anxiety may fall into an intense fear of what others are thinking about them.

Psychological Characteristics: Including psychological trait (represented by personality traits) and state (represented by mental health state).

Depression: A state of low mood and aversion to activity that can affect a person's thoughts, behavior, feelings and sense of well-being.

Big Five Personality Traits: Five dimensions of personality, including openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism.

Subjective Well-Being: Meaning how people experience the quality of their lives, comprising longer-term levels of pleasant affect, lack of unpleasant affect and life satisfaction.

Prediction Model: Used to predict given dimensions by original data using data mining algorithms.

Smartphone: Mobile phone with more advanced computing capability and connectivity than basic feature phones.

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