Attention bias in social networking sites-addicted individuals (2014)

Alcohol Alcohol. 2014 Sep;49 Suppl 1:i50. doi: 10.1093/alcalc/agu053.62.

Kaise Y1, Masuyama A2, Naruse M1, Sakano Y3.



Numerous studies have revealed that addicted individuals have attention bias related to addictive subjects, however, little is known about the relationship between attention bias and internet addiction. In this study, we have investigated whether social networking sites (SNS)-addicted individuals show attention bias for SNS- related pictures.


Forty-seven undergraduate college students participated in this study (74% females). Pathological users of SNS were assigned to the SNS addiction group whereas others were assigned to the non-SNS addiction group. Participants completed a Visual Probe Task (VPT) that assessed attention bias. To test whether internet addicted individuals have attention bias during attention capture and/or processing, we used a VPT having two conditions: pictorial stimuli appearing for 500 ms and 5000 ms.


Results of t-tests revealed that the SNS-addiction group showed attention bias for SNS stimuli in the 500 ms (t(45) = 2.77, p < .01) condition and not in the 5000 ms condition (t(45) = .22, n.s.), when compared with the non-SNS addiction group. This result suggested that SNS-addicted individuals have attention bias for SNS-related stimuli during attention capture as well as other addictive disorder or dependence (e.g. alcohol or nicotine dependence).