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The Behavioral Science Behind Smartphone Addiction

Samuel Veissière, PhD, assistant professor of Culture, Mind, and Brain Program, McGill University.
(Photo courtesy of McGill University)
Samuel Veissière, PhD, assistant professor of Culture, Mind, and Brain Program, McGill University.

Those notifications that our smartphones constantly send us are fueling growing concerns about smartphone addiction. But, new research out of McGill University in Montreal says we might be looking at this the wrong way.

There’s a lot of talk right now about how our smartphones are making us antisocial. We’re glued to the screens, don’t talk to real people anymore, right?

Well, this research says smartphones are not making us antisocial — they’re actually proof that we are hypersocial. Samuel Veissiere is an assistant professor in the Culture, Mind, and Brain Program at McGill University and he helped conduct this research.

And when The Show's Lauren Gilger got a hold of him to talk more about it, he said they started with the premise that addiction is not just about the thing you’re addicted to — it has a strong behavioral component.

Lauren Gilger, host of KJZZ's The Show, is an award-winning journalist whose work has impacted communities large and small, exposing injustices and giving a voice to the voiceless and marginalized.