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Selected Academic Papers

Orben, A., Przybylski, A.K., Blakemore, SJ. et al 
March 2022

Windows of developmental sensitivity to social media

The relationship between social media use and life satisfaction changes across adolescent development. Our analyses of two UK datasets comprising 84,011 participants (10–80 years old) find that the cross-sectional relationship between self-reported estimates of social media use and life satisfaction ratings is most negative in younger adolescents. Furthermore, sex differences in this relationship are only present during this time. Longitudinal analyses of 17,409 participants (10–21 years old) suggest distinct developmental windows of sensitivity to social media in adolescence, when higher estimated social media use predicts a decrease in life satisfaction ratings one year later (and vice-versa: lower estimated social media use predicts an increase in life satisfaction ratings). These windows occur at different ages for males (14–15 and 19 years old) and females (11–13 and 19 years old). Decreases in life satisfaction ratings also predicted subsequent increases in estimated social media use, however, these were not associated with age or sex.

Vuorre, M., Orben, A. and Przybylski, A. K.

May 2021

There Is No Evidence That Associations Between Adolescents’ Digital Technology Engagement and Mental Health Problems Have Increased

Digital technology is ubiquitous in modern adolescence, and researchers are concerned that it has negative impacts on mental health that, furthermore, increase over time. To investigate whether technology is becoming more harmful, we examined changes in associations between technology engagement and mental health in three nationally representative samples. Results were mixed across types of technology and mental health outcomes: Technology engagement had become less strongly associated with depression in the past decade, but social-media use had become more strongly associated with emotional problems. We detected no changes in five other associations or differential associations by sex. There is therefore little evidence for increases in the associations between adolescents’ technology engagement and mental health. Information about new digital media has been collected for a relatively short time; drawing firm conclusions about changes in their associations with mental health may be premature. We urge transparent and credible collaborations between scientists and technology companies.

Johannes, N., Vuorre, M. and Przybylski, A.K.

February 2021

Video game play is positively correlated with well-being

People have never played more video games, and many stakeholders are worried that this activity might be bad for players. So far, research has not had adequate data to test whether these worries are justified and if policymakers should act to regulate video game play time. We attempt to provide much-needed evidence with adequate data. Whereas previous research had to rely on self-reported play behaviour, we collaborated with two games companies, Electronic Arts and Nintendo of America, to obtain players' actual play behaviour. We surveyed players of Plantsvs.Zombies: Battle for Neighborville and Animal Crossing: New Horizons for their well-being, motivations and need satisfaction during play, and merged their responses with telemetry data (i.e. logged game play). Contrary to many fears that excessive play time will lead to addiction and poor mental health, we found a small positive relation between game play and affective well-being. Need satisfaction and motivations during play did not interact with play time but were instead independently related to well-being. Our results advance the field in two important ways. First, we show that collaborations with industry partners can be done to high academic standards in an ethical and transparent fashion. Second, we deliver much-needed evidence to policymakers on the link between play and mental health.

Przybylski, A.K. & N Weinstein

August 2019


The American Psychiatric Association (APA) and World Health Organization (WHO) have called for research investigating the clinical relevance of dysregulated video-game play. A growing number of exploratory studies have applied self-determination theory to probe the psychological dynamics of problematic gaming, but little is known about these dynamics in adolescents—the targets of most concerns—or the extent to which dysregulated gaming, in turn, affects functioning. In our study of British adolescents and their caregivers (n = 2,008), we adopted a confirmatory lens to test the extent to which basic psychological need satisfactions and frustrations underlie dysfunctional gaming behavior. The results, in line with preregistered sampling and data-analysis plans, indicated the frustrations, but not the absence of satisfactions, of psychological needs predicted adolescents’ dysregulated gaming and psychosocial functioning. Our discussion focuses on the clinical significance of gaming dysregulation and the advantages of transparent scientific practices for research informed by, and meant to inform, APA and WHO guidance.


Johannes, N., Dienlin, T., Bakhshi, H. & Przybylski, A.K. (2022)  No effect of different types of media on well-being. Scientific Reports.

Orben, A., Przybylski, A.K., Blakemore, SJ. et al. (2022) Windows of developmental sensitivity to social media. Nature Communication 13, 1649.


Vuorre, M., Orben, A. & Przybylski, A. K. (2021) There Is No Evidence That Associations Between Adolescents’ Digital Technology Engagement and Mental Health Problems Have Increased. Clinical Psychological Science.

Johannes, N., Vuorre, M. & Przybylski A. K. (2021). Video game play is positively correlated with well-being.

Przybylski, A.K., Nguyen, Tv.T., Law, W. & Weinstein, N,. (2021) Does Taking a Short Break from Social Media Have a Positive Effect on Well-being? Evidence from Three Preregistered Field Experiments. Journal of Technology in Behavioral Science.


Johannes, N., Vuorre, M. and Przybylski, A.K. (2020). Video game play is positively correlated with well-being.

IJzerman, H., Lewis, N.A., Przybylski, A.K., Weinstein, N., DeBruine, L., Ritchie, S.J., Vazire, S., Forscher, P.S., Morey, R.D., Ivory, J.D. and Anvari, F. (2020). Use caution when applying behavioural science to policy. Nature Human Behaviour, 4(11), pp.1092-1094.

Przybylski, A.K., Orben, A. & Weinstein, N. (2020). How much is too much? Examining the relationship between digital screen engagement and psychosocial functioning in a confirmatory cohort study. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 59(9), pp.1080-1088.

Orben, A., Weinstein N & Przybylski, AK. (2020) Only Holistic and Iterative Change Will Fix Digital Technology Research, Psychological Inquiry, 31:3, 235-241, DOI: 10.1080/1047840X.2020.1820221

Holmes, E.A., O'Connor, R.C., Perry, V.H., Tracey, I., Wessely, S., Arseneault, L., Ballard, C., Christensen, H., Silver, R.C., Everall, I. & Ford, T, et al...Przybylski, A.K, (2020). Multidisciplinary research priorities for the COVID-19 pandemic: a call for action for mental health science. The Lancet Psychiatry.

Etchells, P., Brown, N.J., Heathers, J. & Przybylski, A.K. (2020). Inconsistencies in a study of the relationship between sleep disorders, mental health, and gaming behaviour in Africa.

Orben, A., Przybylski, A.K. (2020). Reply to: Underestimating digital media harm. Natural Human Behaviour 4, 349–351.

Orben A, Przybylski AK. (2020). Teenage sleep and technology engagement across the week. PeerJ 8:e8427


Przybylski, A. K., & Weinstein, N. (2019). Investigating the Motivational and Psychosocial Dynamics of Dysregulated Gaming: Evidence From a Preregistered Cohort Study. Clinical Psychological Science, 2167702619859341.

Przybylski, A. K., & Weinstein, N. (2019). Violent video game engagement is not associated with adolescents’ aggressive behaviour: evidence from a registered report. Royal Society Open Science, 6(2), 171474.

Orben, A., Dienlin, T., & Przybylski, A. K. (2019). Social media’s enduring effect on adolescent life satisfaction. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 116(21), 10226–10228.

Lanier, M., Waddell, T. F., Elson, M., Tamul, D. J., Ivory, J. D., & Przybylski, A. K. (2019). Virtual reality check: Statistical power, reported results, and the validity of research on the psychology of virtual reality and immersive environments. Computers in Human Behavior, 100, 70–78.

Weston, S. J., Ritchie, S. J., Rohrer, J. M., & Przybylski, A. K. (2019). Recommendations for Increasing the Transparency of Analysis of Preexisting Data Sets. Advances in Methods and Practices in Psychological Science,

Orben, A., & Przybylski, A. K. (2019). Screens, Teens, and Psychological Well-Being: Evidence From Three Time-Use-Diary Studies. Psychological Science, 095679761983032.

Orben, A., & Przybylski, A. K. (2019). The association between adolescent well-being and digital technology use. Nature Human Behaviour, 1.

Weinstein, N., & Przybylski, A. K. (2019). The impacts of motivational framing of technology restrictions on adolescent concealment: Evidence from a preregistered experimental study. Computers in Human Behavior, 90, 170–180.


Przybylski, A. K. (2018). Digital Screen Time and Pediatric Sleep: Evidence from a Preregistered Cohort Study. The Journal of Pediatrics.

Przybylski, A. K., & Nash, V. (2018). Internet Filtering and Adolescent Exposure to Online Sexual Material. Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking, 21(7), 405–410.

Legate, N., Weinstein, N., & Przybylski, A. K. (2018). Parenting Strategies and Adolescents’ Cyberbullying Behaviors: Evidence from a Preregistered Study of Parent–Child Dyads. Journal of Youth and Adolescence.

van Rooij, A. J., Ferguson, C. J., Colder Carras, M., Kardefelt-Winther, D., Shi, J., Aarseth, E., … Przybylski, A. K. (2018). A weak scientific basis for gaming disorder: Let us err on the side of caution. Journal of Behavioral Addictions, 1–9.


Przybylski, A. K., & Weinstein, N. (2017). Digital Screen Time Limits and Young Children’s Psychological Well-Being: Evidence From a Population-Based Study. Child Development.

Weinstein, N., Przybylski, A. K., & Murayama, K. (2017). A prospective study of the motivational and health dynamics of Internet Gaming Disorder. PeerJ, 5, e3838.

Przybylski, A. K., & Bowes, L. (2017). Cyberbullying and adolescent well-being in England: a population-based cross-sectional study. The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health, 1(1), 19–26.

Elson, M., & Przybylski, A. K. (2017). The Science of Technology and Human Behavior: Standards, Old and New. Journal of Media Psychology, 29(1), 1–7.

Przybylski, A. K., & Nash, V. (2017). Internet Filtering Technology and Aversive Online Experiences in Adolescents. The Journal of Pediatrics, 184, 215-219.e1.

Przybylski, A. K., & Weinstein, N. (2017). A Large-Scale Test of the Goldilocks Hypothesis: Quantifying the Relations Between Digital-Screen Use and the Mental Well-Being of Adolescents. Psychological Science, 28(2), 204–215.


Przybylski, A. K., & Weinstein, N. (2017). A Large-Scale Test of the Goldilocks Hypothesis: Quantifying the Relations Between Digital-Screen Use and the Mental Well-Being of Adolescents. Psychological Science, 28(2), 204–215.

Przybylski, A. K., Weinstein, N., & Murayama, K. (2016). Internet Gaming Disorder: Investigating the Clinical Relevance of a New Phenomenon. American Journal of Psychiatry.

Przybylski, A. K., & Wang, J. C. (2016). A large scale test of the gaming-enhancement hypothesis. PeerJ, 4, e2710.

Przybylski, A. K. (2016). Mischievous responding in Internet Gaming Disorder research. PeerJ, 4, e2401.

Aarseth, E., Bean, A. M., Boonen, H., Colder Carras, M., Coulson, M., Das, D., … Van Rooij, A. J. (2016). Scholars’ open debate paper on the World Health Organization ICD-11 Gaming Disorder proposal. Journal of Behavioral Addictions, 1–4.

Przybylski, A. K., & Weinstein, N. (2016). How we see electronic games. PeerJ, 4, e1931.


Selected Academic Papers Published Before 2016

Bell, V., Bishop, D. V. M., & Przybylski, A. K. (2015). The debate over digital technology and young people. BMJ, 351, h3064.

Przybylski, A. K. (2014). Electronic Gaming and Psychosocial Adjustment. Pediatrics, 134(3), e716–e722.

Przybylski, A. K., Deci, E. L., Rigby, C. S., & Ryan, R. M. (2014). Competence-impeding electronic games and players’ aggressive feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 106(3), 441–457.

Przybylski, A. K. (2014). Who Believes Electronic Games Cause Real World Aggression? Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 17(4), 228–234.

Przybylski, A. K., Murayama, K., DeHaan, C. R., & Gladwell, V. (2013). Motivational, emotional, and behavioral correlates of fear of missing out. Computers in Human Behavior, 29(4), 1841–1848.

Przybylski, A. K., & Weinstein, N. (2013). Can you connect with me now? How the presence of mobile communication technology influences face-to-face conversation quality. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 30(3), 237–246.

Przybylski, A. K., Rigby, C. S., & Ryan, R. M. (2010). A motivational model of video game engagement. Review of General Psychology, 14(2), 154–166.

Przybylski, A. K., Weinstein, N., Ryan, R. M., & Rigby, C. S. (2009). Having to versus Wanting to Play: Background and Consequences of Harmonious versus Obsessive Engagement in Video Games. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 12(5), 485–492.

Przybylski, A. K., Ryan, R. M., & Rigby, C. S. (2009). The Motivating Role of Violence in Video Games. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 35(2), 243–259.

Ryan, R. M., Rigby, C. S., & Przybylski, A. K. (2006). The Motivational Pull of Video Games: A Self-Determination Theory Approach. Motivation and Emotion, 30(4), 344–360.

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