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Modern day addictions: The role of temptations in a reflective-impulsive-interoceptive awareness model of information system use

This study examines a behavioral tripartite model developed in the field of addiction, and applies it here to understanding general and impulsive information technology use. It suggests that technology use is driven by two information-processing brain systems: reflective and impulsive, and that their effects on use are modulated by interoceptive awareness processes. The resultant reflective-impulsive-interoceptive awareness model is tested in two behavioral studies. Both studies employ SEM techniques to time-lagged self-report data from n1 = 300 and n2 = 369 social networking site users. Study 1 demonstrated that temptations augment the effect of habit on technology use, and reduce the effect of satisfaction on use. Study 2 showed that temptations strengthen the effect of habit on impulsive technology use, and weaken the effect of behavioral expectations on impulsive technology use. Hence, the results consistently support the notion that information technology users’ behaviors are influenced by reflective and impulsive information processing systems; and that the equilibrium of these systems is determined, at least in part, by one’s temptations. These results can serve as a basis for understanding the etiology of modern day addictions.

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