Red box, green box: A self-report behavioral frequency measurement approach for behavioral addictions research

Daniel L. King, Joel Billieux, Paul H. Delfabbro

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Abstract

Behavior frequency measures in behavioral addictions research fail to account for how engagement in the activity relates to each respondent's personal circumstances. We propose a "Red Box, Green Box" method, an alternative to conventional self-report behavior questions. Participants report two distinct time-based values: (1) Green box: time spent engaged in the activity during 'free' time, and (2) Red box: engagement in the activity at times when the respondent should be doing something else (e.g., studying, working, sleeping, exercising, etc.). Some practical examples of the 'red box, green box' method are provided. This method may help to calibrate behavioral frequency for each respondent and yield clearer insights into displacement effects and risks associated with frequency of use. We suggest some future research directions to test the feasibility and utility of this approach in different implementations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-24
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Behavioral Addictions
Volume13
Issue number1
Early online date9 Jan 2024
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024

Keywords

  • digital media use
  • gaming
  • measurement
  • screen time
  • self-report

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