Scientific Proof: iPhone Users Are Hooked

Stanford graduates find the ultimate smartphone is habit-forming

By Jessica Greene
|  Wednesday, Mar 10, 2010  |  Updated 1:02 PM PDT
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It's likely we didn't need a scientific study to confirm the suspicions but there's one out now that proves the theory: iPhone users are hooked.

The same prestigious university that offers a class for developing iPhone apps has now found that the king of the smartphones is, indeed, habit-forming.

The survey of about 200 Stanford University undergrads found that about a third of them were so hooked, they had heard complaints that they were using them too much. Nearly three-quarters said their iPhones made them happier and over half said they love theirs.

Take a look at some sample questions.

The study was done last spring by a graduate anthropology class under the guidance of Professor Tanya Lurhmann. A quarter of those in the study said they thought of the iPhone as an extension of their brain or of their being.

"One of the most striking things we saw in the interviews was just how identified people were with their iPhone," Luhrmann told the Mercury News. "It was not so much with the object itself, but it had so much personal information that it became a kind of extension of the mind and a means to have a social life. It just kind of captured part of their identity."

Aout 40 percent felt so attached to their iPhones, they would call it a "tragedy" if they lost the gadget.

Lurhmann was particularly interested in the humanizing of the iPhone. She found it, "quite charming was that people anthropomorphized it."

"They'd refer to it as 'my little friend.'  There was this whole dangerously alluring part of it. People worried about being addicted and creating an 'iPhone widow.'" Luhrmann said. "I think we have not begun to understand the cognitive impact and the social impact" of smartphones.

As for those suspected of having an iPhone affair, at least 75 percent admitted to falling alseep with theirs in bed.

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