Cognitive biases and excessive use of social media: The facebook implicit associations test (FIAT)
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Many theoretical accounts of addictive behaviors, including models of Internet use disorders, implicate cognitive biases in the formation and maintenance of excessive behaviors. Yet, little empirical evidence regarding the role of such biases, including implicit attitude, in the development and maintenance of excessive use of social media exists. We seek to bridge this gap in this study. To this end, we present the development of the Facebook Implicit Association Test (FIAT) and employ it in a sample of 220 Facebook users. The results (1) confirm the validity of the concept of implicit attitude and its measure in the context of social media, (2) demonstrate that implicit attitude is significantly positively associated with excessive use scores, in a magnitude similar to that observed for associations with substance use, and (3) show that implicit attitude is sheltered against social desirability bias, unlike self-reported and explicit measures, such as excessive use. Overall, this study builds theoretical and methodological foundations for further inquiries into the role of implicit attitude in research on the excessive use of social media.
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