• Andrew Przybylski is Director of Research at the Oxford Internet Institute.He is an experimental psychologist whose research focuses on applying psychological models of motivation and health to the study of how people interact with virtual environments, including video games and social media.Last year, he co-authored a study published in the journal Psychological Science in which he examined the effect of screen-time on a sample of more than 120,000 British adolescents.He questioned how scientific research is carried out and the quality of scientific rigour, both in academia and the video game industry.He was the lead author of a 2013 study published in Computers in Human Behavior that determined when people are low in these three areas, they have high levels of FOMO.In addition, he and Orben used a research approach called preregistration, which is considered a more robust way of testing hypotheses.
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Oxford Internet Institute
"Our findings suggest that adolescents' moderate screen use has no detectable link to well-being and levels of engagement above these points are modestly correlated with well-being," said Przybylski. He and Netta Weinstein of Cardiff University noticed a critical gap between what people believe about the effects of teens' screen time and what scientific research actually shows. The data for all digital activities, on both weekdays and weekends, showed trends consistent with the sweet spot hypothesis - teens' well-being increased as their screen time increased, up to a certain point. After that point, increased screen time was associated with decreased well-being.
About a third – 36% of girls and 24% of boys – reported having been regularly bullied, in any way, in the last two months. But just 3% reported having been the victim of cyberbullying, and the study found that the impact of cyberbullying on children's mental health and wellbeing was small. The researchers say that this shows that cyberbullying is usually simply one more tactic that bullies use against already-bullied children, and is not creating a new population of bullying victims. The study looked at children who are regularly bullied, rather than those who've experienced a single incident, because that is how most studies of traditional bullying are carried out, said Przybylski. "Traditional bullying researchers will tell you that kids who report being bullied once a month don't look very different to kids who aren't bullied.
Being bullied, or smoking cannabis were found to be 2.7 and 4.3 times more harmful to a child's mental state than too much screen time. "Our findings demonstrate that screen use itself has at most a tiny association with youth mental health," says lead researcher Professor Andrew Przybylski of the University of Oxford. "The 0.4 per cent contribution of screen use on young people's mental health needs to be put in context for parents and policymakers. Researchers then put screen time in context of how bad it was for a young person's mental health by using different metrics that removed bias.