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Check If You Are Addicted to Facebook

Update Date: May 09, 2012 12:42 AM EDT

Researchers from the University of Bergen (UiB) have developed a new instrument to measure Facebook addiction, the Bergen Facebook Addiction Scale.

In January 2011, 423 students – 227 women and 196 men – engaged in tests for the Bergen Facebook Addiction Scale. 

The scale is based on six basic criteria, where all items are scored on the following scale: (1) Very rarely, (2) Rarely, (3) Sometimes, (4) Often, and (5) Very often:

- You spend a lot of time thinking about Facebook or plan use of Facebook.

- You feel an urge to use Facebook more and more.

- You use Facebook in order to forget about personal problems.

- You have tried to cut down on the use of Facebook without success.

- You become restless or troubled if you are prohibited from using Facebook.

- You use Facebook so much that it has had a negative impact on your job/studies.

Scoring of "often" or "very often" on at least four of the six items may suggest that you are addicted to Facebook. 

"Facebook dependency occurs more regularly among younger than older users. We have also found that people who are anxious and socially insecure use Facebook more than those with lower scores on those traits, probably because those who are anxious find it easier to communicate via social media than face-to-face," says Cecilie Schou Andreassen, lead researcher and Doctor of Psychology.

People who are organized and more ambitious tend to be less at risk from Facebook addiction, the study found. They will often use social media as an integral part of work and networking. 

"Our research also indicates that women are more at risk of developing Facebook addiction, probably due to the social nature of Facebook," Andreassen says.

According to Andreassen, the research also shows that Facebook addiction was related to extraversion. People with high scores on the new scale further tend to have a somewhat delayed sleep-wake rhythm.

The scale can facilitate treatment research, clinical assessment and can be used for the estimation of Facebook addiction prevalence in the general population worldwide.

The findings of the study appear in the Psychological Reports.

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