Medicine (Baltimore). 2018 Sep;97(39):e12493. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000012493.
The purpose of the present study was to determine whether Internet overuse was associated with empathic ability in college students.A total 261 participants (145 males and 116 females; mean age of 21.93 years) completed Empathy Quotient (EQ), Young’s Internet Addiction Test (IAT), and questionnaires about demographic data and internet using patterns.Of these 261 subjects, 85 (32.5%) were categorized as over-users. There was no significant difference in EQ total score between the over-user group and the average user group. The over-user group had lower scores of Social Skills than the average user group in subscale profiles. The over-user group stayed longer in cyberspace than the average user group. EQ score was found to have positive correlation with time spent in Internet use and the number of close friends. Results of the present study suggest that conventional Internet use is positively associated with empathic ability in interpersonal relationships. Therefore, such positive association between Internet use and empathic ability should be considered when evaluating possible problematic internet use.