Selected Academic Papers

N Johannes, M Vuorre & AK Przybylski

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.

AK Przybylski & 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.

A Orben TD Dienlin & AK Przybylski

May 2019

In this study, we used large-scale representative panel data to disentangle the between-person and within-person relations linking adolescent social media use and well-being. We found that social media use is not, in and of itself, a strong predictor of life satisfaction across the adolescent population. Instead, social media effects are nuanced, small at best, reciprocal over time, gender specific, and contingent on analytic methods.


AK Przybylski & N Weinstein

January 2017


Although the time adolescents spend with digital technologies has sparked widespread concerns that their use might be negatively associated with mental well-being, these potential deleterious influences have not been rigorously studied. Using a preregistered plan for analyzing data collected from a representative sample of English adolescents (n = 120,115), we obtained evidence that the links between digital-screen time and mental well-being are described by quadratic functions. Further, our results showed that these links vary as a function of when digital technologies are used (i.e., weekday vs. weekend), suggesting that a full understanding of the impact of these recreational activities will require examining their functionality among other daily pursuits. Overall, the evidence indicated that moderate use of digital technology is not intrinsically harmful and may be advantageous in a connected world. The findings inform recommendations for limiting adolescents’ technology use and provide a template for conducting rigorous investigations into the relations between digital technology and children’s and adolescents’ health.

Johannes, N., Vuorre, M. & Przybylski Andrew 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. (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


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.


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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