Dr Zaheer Hussain

Research and Teaching Blog


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Facebook Intensity Study published today

Our Facebook intensity study has been published in the Journal of Addictive Behaviors, Therapy and Rehabilitation;

http://www.scitechnol.com/peer-review/an-exploratory-study-of-facebook-intensity-and-its-links-to-narcissism-stress-and-selfesteem-ijpg.php?article_id=5871

Abstract

Facebook use has become a popular social activity. More intensive use of Facebook may increase the risk of health problems. Research suggests that high levels of stress and low levels of self-esteem are linked to Facebook intensity usage, however, these findings have been inconsistent, as studies also suggest the opposite or no links at all. This exploratory study examined whether narcissism, stress and self-esteem could predict Facebook intensity, and whether a short session on Facebook could produce immediate psychological effects. A sample of 163 Facebook users completed an online survey, engaged in a short Facebook session and then completed another online survey. Regression analysis revealed that narcissism, stress and self-esteem were found to significantly predict Facebook intensity with stress being a significant predictor within the model. Facebook use significantly increased self-esteem scores amongst the participants. The findings are discussed in relation to previous research and theory


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Scholars’ open debate paper on the World Health Organization ICD-11 Gaming Disorder proposal

My latest publication with a group of researchers has now been published in the Journal of Behavioral Addictions. Abstract below;

Concerns about problematic gaming behaviors deserve our full attention. However, we claim that it is far from clear that these problems can or should be attributed to a new disorder. The empirical basis for a Gaming Disorder proposal, such as in the new ICD-11, suffers from fundamental issues. Our main concerns are the low quality of the research base, the fact that the current operationalization leans too heavily on substance use and gambling criteria, and the lack of consensus on symptomatology and assessment of problematic gaming. The act of formalizing this disorder, even as a proposal, has negative medical, scientific, public-health, societal and human rights fallout that should be considered. Of particular concern are moral panics around the harm of video gaming. They might result in premature application of diagnosis in the medical community and the treatment of abundant false-positive cases, especially for children and adolescents. Secondly, research will be locked into a confirmatory approach, rather than an exploration of the boundaries of normal versus pathological. Thirdly, the healthy majority of gamers will be affected negatively. We expect that the premature inclusion of Gaming Disorder as a diagnosis in ICD-11 will cause significant stigma to the millions of children who play video games as part of a normal, healthy life. At this point, suggesting formal diagnoses and categories is premature: the ICD-11 proposal for Gaming Disorder should be removed to avoid a waste of public health resources as well as to avoid causing harm to healthy video gamers around the world.


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Data for sale: Data tracking is a common practice

According to a study conducted by the university of Oxford as covered by Wired Magazine – ‘My Identity for Sale’ (http://www.wired.co.uk/magazine/archive/2014/11/features/my-identity-for-sale), it’s very easy to identify individuals even when data is anonymised. De-anonymising is even easier when the data is merged with other databases (e.g., purchasing).

The article states that companies are selling your data to others, who then merge the data with other mega-databases thereby identifying you individually and revealing enormous information about your life.

This is all happening quietly without fully informing the public amidst a context of data being lost, sold, combined with other data, and the abuse of the publics right of privacy.