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. 2016 Aug 17;11(8):e0159788.
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0159788. eCollection 2016.

Personality Factors Predicting Smartphone Addiction Predisposition: Behavioral Inhibition and Activation Systems, Impulsivity, and Self-Control

Free PMC article

Personality Factors Predicting Smartphone Addiction Predisposition: Behavioral Inhibition and Activation Systems, Impulsivity, and Self-Control

Yejin Kim et al. PLoS One. .
Free PMC article


The purpose of this study was to identify personality factor-associated predictors of smartphone addiction predisposition (SAP). Participants were 2,573 men and 2,281 women (n = 4,854) aged 20-49 years (Mean ± SD: 33.47 ± 7.52); participants completed the following questionnaires: the Korean Smartphone Addiction Proneness Scale (K-SAPS) for adults, the Behavioral Inhibition System/Behavioral Activation System questionnaire (BIS/BAS), the Dickman Dysfunctional Impulsivity Instrument (DDII), and the Brief Self-Control Scale (BSCS). In addition, participants reported their demographic information and smartphone usage pattern (weekday or weekend average usage hours and main use). We analyzed the data in three steps: (1) identifying predictors with logistic regression, (2) deriving causal relationships between SAP and its predictors using a Bayesian belief network (BN), and (3) computing optimal cut-off points for the identified predictors using the Youden index. Identified predictors of SAP were as follows: gender (female), weekend average usage hours, and scores on BAS-Drive, BAS-Reward Responsiveness, DDII, and BSCS. Female gender and scores on BAS-Drive and BSCS directly increased SAP. BAS-Reward Responsiveness and DDII indirectly increased SAP. We found that SAP was defined with maximal sensitivity as follows: weekend average usage hours > 4.45, BAS-Drive > 10.0, BAS-Reward Responsiveness > 13.8, DDII > 4.5, and BSCS > 37.4. This study raises the possibility that personality factors contribute to SAP. And, we calculated cut-off points for key predictors. These findings may assist clinicians screening for SAP using cut-off points, and further the understanding of SA risk factors.

Conflict of interest statement

Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.


Fig 1
Fig 1. Bayesian belief network for SAP and variables.
Arrows are directed from cause to result. Solid boxes = Variables with p-value < 0.01, Dashed boxes = Variables with p-value ≥ 0.01 in logistic regression.
Fig 2
Fig 2. ROC curve for logistic regression.
(a) average weekend usage hours, AUC = 0.69 ± 0.02, (b) BAS-Drive, AUC = 0.72 ± 0.03, (c) BSCS, AUC = 0.76 ± 0.02. Each point on the ROC curve represents a cut-off point for binary classification (Table 5).

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Grant support

This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea(NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning (NRF-2014M3C7A1062893). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.