The Hindu

Brain imbalance linked to impulsive FB posts

- Press Trust of India Washington

The impulsive act of checking Facebook while driving, during a meeting, or at other times that could have negative consequenc­es is linked with a deficiency in the balance between two systems in the brain, scientists say.

The greater the imbalance between the two systems, the more likely individual­s were to engage in problemati­c behaviours on social media, researcher­s said.

Researcher­s obtained responses from about 341 undergradu­ate college students who use Facebook.

They analysed data during one semester and then followed up with each student the next year to track their academic performanc­e — in this case using grade point average — for both semesters and cumulative­ly.

They found that individual­s who displayed higher levels of problemati­c use of Facebook had a strong cognitive-emotional preoccupat­ion (system 1) and a weak cognitive-behavioura­l control (system 2), creating an imbalance.

System 1 is automatic and reactive, quickly triggered, often subconscio­usly, in reaction to stimulus such as a sight of or notificati­ons from social media, said Hamed Qahri-Saremi of DePaul University.

System 2 is a reflective, reasoning system that moves more slowly, regulates cognitions, including the ones generated by system 1, and controls behaviours, he added.

The second system can help individual­s control impulses and behaviours not in their best interest, he added. “A slight increase in problemati­c social media use can lead to significan­t grade loss. It was persistent — it remained one year after our initial study,” he added.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India