Stability of implicit self-esteem among Internet-addicted college students in China

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Lingbo Zhao
Xianglian Yu
Lixian Zhang
Zhihong Ren
Cite this article:  Zhao, L., Yu, X., Zhang, L., & Ren, Z. (2017). Stability of implicit self-esteem among Internet-addicted college students in China. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 45(2), 339-352.


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We explored the stability of, and between-group differences in, the implicit self-esteem of Internet-addicted and Internet-nonaddicted college students in China. Internet addiction was assessed using Young’s Internet Addiction Scale and the participants comprised 52 Internet addicts (26 men, 26 women) and 52 Internet nonaddicts (26 men, 26 women). We then used the Implicit Association Test to assess levels of implicit self-esteem, employing a 2 (addiction, nonaddiction) × 2 (positive feedback, negative feedback) between-subjects factorial design. The pretest implicit self-esteem level of the Internet-addicted group was significantly higher than that of the control group; however, the implicit self-esteem levels of both groups were unstable. Positive feedback did not change the level of implicit self-esteem of the Internet addiction group. In future studies researchers need to pay more attention to the measurement of implicit self-esteem, long-term stability, and addiction to online games.

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