Thanks to ASU's Graduate & Professional Student Association for letting me share this research with the public!


COPYRIGHT: Video, all content, all data; Jessica Bodford, March 19, 2015

Awarded Best Paper Presentation out of the Social Sciences, Health Sciences, and Mathematic and Natural Sciences at ASU's GPSA Interdisciplinary Research Symposium.

Bodford, J. E. & Kwan, V. S. Y. (2015, March). Driving, interrupted: Attachment to cell phones predicts life-threatening polychronic behaviors. Oral presentation delivered at the Eleventh Annual Graduate & Professional Student Association Interdisciplinary Research Symposium. Tempe, AZ: ASU Graduate & Professional Student Association.

Abstract: As technology grows ever more prevalent in society, so too do our relationships with the digital devices that we keep close at hand each day. The current study examines whether attachment styles, focusing particularly on anxiously attached individuals due to the intensity and compulsiveness of their ties, generalize to cellular devices. We present a three-factor measure of cell phone attachment modeled from the Relationship Scales Questionnaire (Bartholomew, 1991) and assess the extent to which these styles predict multitasking behaviors independent of friend attachment. Across two studies, we illustrate our hypothesized attachment-behavior link in an area of societal concern by focusing on dangerous (e.g., texting while driving) and socially inappropriate situations (texting in the presence of coworkers or close others). Findings support a mediation model in which anxious cell phone attachment is associated with behaviors that are dangerous and socially inappropriate, a tie that is partially explained by feelings of compulsivity toward individuals’ cellular devices. These findings may suggest that the boundary between digital and in-person interaction is growing increasingly blurred, particularly among those at risk of generalizing human attachments to nonhuman agents.