Validation of a Novel Delay Discounting of Text Messaging Questionnaire
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Using cellular phones for text messaging has become a ubiquitous mode of communication in today’s American culture. Text messaging has become a primary source of relationship development and maintenance for many Americans, especially youth. Researchers have begun classifying excessive reliance on text messaging as an addictive behavior, which may lead to risky activities such as texting while driving. This study interprets texting dependence within a behavioral economics framework of addictive behavior and proposes a novel Delay Discounting of Texting Questionnaire (DDTQ). The DDTQ involves a hypothetical scenario wherein the respondent chooses between paying for an immediate text now and waiting to receive a free text message in the future. We validated the DDTQ using a relatively diverse crowdsourced sample from Amazon Mechanical Turk. The DDTQ demonstrated expected degrees of systematic discounting and yielded higher rates of delay discounting with reward values in a within-subjects evaluation of the magnitude effect. Finally, the DDTQ successfully discriminated different profiles of possible text-messaging dependence. Collectively, these findings suggest the DDTQ is a viable task for use in studying the behavioral economics of possible text-messaging dependence.
KeywordsText message Technology Cellular phone Delay discounting Behavioral economics Amazon Mechanical Turk
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
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.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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