Humans' attachment to their mobile phones and its relationship with interpersonal attachment style

Veronika Konok, Dóra Gigler, Boróka Mária Bereczky, A. Miklósi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Humans have a biological predisposition to form attachment to social partners, and they seem to form attachment even toward non-human and inanimate targets. Attachment styles influence not only interpersonal relationships, but interspecies and object attachment as well. We hypothesized that young people form attachment toward their mobile phone, and that people with higher attachment anxiety use the mobile phone more likely as a compensatory attachment target. We constructed a scale to observe people's attachment to their mobile and we assessed their interpersonal attachment style. In this exploratory study we found that young people readily develop attachment toward their phone: they seek the proximity of it and experience distress on separation. People's higher attachment anxiety predicted higher tendency to show attachment-like features regarding their mobile. Specifically, while the proximity of the phone proved to be equally important for people with different attachment styles, the constant contact with others through the phone was more important for anxiously attached people. We conclude that attachment to recently emerged artificial objects, like the mobile may be the result of cultural co-option of the attachment system. People with anxious attachment style may face challenges as the constant contact and validation the computer-mediated communication offers may deepen their dependence on others.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)537-547
Number of pages11
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Volume61
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2016

Fingerprint

Cell Phones
Mobile phones
Anxiety
Communication
Attachment Style
Mobile Phone
Object Attachment

Keywords

  • Attachment
  • Attachment anxiety
  • Attachment styles
  • Cell phone
  • Cell phone attachment
  • Gender differences
  • Human-mobile interaction
  • Mobile phone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Psychology(all)
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Humans' attachment to their mobile phones and its relationship with interpersonal attachment style. / Konok, Veronika; Gigler, Dóra; Bereczky, Boróka Mária; Miklósi, A.

In: Computers in Human Behavior, Vol. 61, 01.08.2016, p. 537-547.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Konok, Veronika ; Gigler, Dóra ; Bereczky, Boróka Mária ; Miklósi, A. / Humans' attachment to their mobile phones and its relationship with interpersonal attachment style. In: Computers in Human Behavior. 2016 ; Vol. 61. pp. 537-547.
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