The development of a single item FoMO (Fear of Missing Out) scale

  • Benjamin C. Riordan
  • Louise Cody
  • Jayde A. M. Flett
  • Tamlin S. Conner
  • John Hunter
  • Damian Scarf


The Fear of Missing Out (FoMO) is the sense that others are having a rewarding experience which one is absent from. Given that it is associated with the drive to remain socially connected, research has predominantly focused on the link between FoMO and social networking use. While a 10-item measure of FoMO is widely used (FoMOs), a shorter scale may be preferable in some circumstances and would allow FoMO to be measured in more diverse contexts. Therefore, we aimed to validate a FoMO short-form (consisting of a single item: “Do you experience FoMO?”). In Studies 1 to 3, we measured the concurrent validity of the FoMOsf with the 10-item FoMOs (Pearson’s R correlation between the FoMOs and FoMOsf: Study 1 r = .735, r = .654; Study 2 r = .638; Study 3 r = .807). In Study 2, we measured the test-retest reliability of the FoMOsf (r = .717). In Study 2 and 3, we measured the construct validity of the FoMOsf by linking the FoMOsf to social networking use. The FoMOsf showed good concurrent validity, construct validity, and test-retest reliability and is adequate for use in research.


Fear of missing out FoMO Single-item Ecological momentary assessment Measurement 



This research was funded by the Health Research Council of New Zealand (Grant Number: 17/568) and University of Otago Research Grant, both awarded to Damian Scarf. Benjamin Riordan was sponsored by a Fulbright New Zealand General Graduate Award.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand

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