What is it about?
We test how one sec, a self-nudging app that is installed by the user on their smartphones in order to reduce the mindless use of apps, affects people’s behavior and satisfaction over the course of six weeks. When users attempt to open a target app of their choice, one sec intervenes with a pop-up screen that shows a brief message and the option to dismiss opening that target app. Our data on those attempts show that this simple intervention helps users over the course of 6 weeks to open their target apps 57% less. Importantly, this is not exclusively due to one sec intervening. The app also has a learning effect so that users attempt to open their target apps less in the first place.
Photo by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash
Why is it important?
Research suggests that smartphone use has various effects on our physical and psychological well-being. When people consume mindlessly the effects are predominantly negative. Instead of being implemented within the problematic digital environments themselves (e.g., Social Media), smartphone apps offer a unique opportunity for interventions. They are applicable to different environments and more transparent than other, common interventions, because they allow users to self-direct their smartphone use without relying on external interventions.
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This page is a summary of: Directing smartphone use through the self-nudge app one sec, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, February 2023, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2213114120.
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