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Selected Academic Papers

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.

AK Przybylski N Weinstein & K Murayama

November 2016


The American Psychiatric Association identified Internet Gaming Disorder as a new potential psychiatric disorder and has recognized that little is known about the prevalence, validity, or cross-cultural robustness of proposed Internet Gaming Disorder criteria. In response to this gap in our understanding, this project estimated the period prevalence of this new potential psychiatric disorder using APA guidance, examined the validity of its proposed indicators, evaluated reliability cross-culturally and across genders, compared it to gold-standard research on gambling addiction and problem gaming, and estimated its impact on physical, social, and mental health. To do so, in a first for this research topic, four survey studies (n = 18,932) with large international cohorts employed an open-science methodology wherein the analysis plans for confirmatory hypotheses were registered prior to data collection. Results showed that of those who play games, more than 2 in 3, did not report any symptoms of Internet Gaming Disorder, and findings showed a very small proportion of the general population – between 0.3% and 1.0% – might qualify for a potential acute diagnosis of Internet Gaming Disorder. Comparison to Gambling Disorder revealed that Internet-based games may be significantly less addictive than gambling and similarly dysregulating as electronic games more generally. The evidence linking Internet Gaming Disorder to game engagement was strong, but links to physical, social, and mental health outcomes were decidedly mixed.



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. https://doi.org/10.1177/2167702619859341

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. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.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. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1902058116

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. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2019.06.015

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, https://doi.org/10.1177/2515245919848684

Orben, A., & Przybylski, A. K. (2019). Screens, Teens, and Psychological Well-Being: Evidence From Three Time-Use-Diary Studies. Psychological Science, 095679761983032. https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797619830329

Orben, A., & Przybylski, A. K. (2019). The association between adolescent well-being and digital technology use. Nature Human Behaviour, 1. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41562-018-0506-1

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. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2018.08.053



Przybylski, A. K. (2018). Digital Screen Time and Pediatric Sleep: Evidence from a Preregistered Cohort Study. The Journal of Pediatrics. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpeds.2018.09.054

Przybylski, A. K., & Nash, V. (2018). Internet Filtering and Adolescent Exposure to Online Sexual Material. Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking, 21(7), 405–410. https://doi.org/10.1089/cyber.2017.0466

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. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-018-0962-y

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. https://doi.org/10.1556/2006.7.2018.19



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. https://doi.org/10.1111/cdev.13007

Weinstein, N., Przybylski, A. K., & Murayama, K. (2017). A prospective study of the motivational and health dynamics of Internet Gaming Disorder. PeerJ, 5, e3838. https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.3838

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. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2352-4642(17)30011-1

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. https://doi.org/10.1027/1864-1105/a000212

Przybylski, A. K., & Nash, V. (2017). Internet Filtering Technology and Aversive Online Experiences in Adolescents. The Journal of Pediatrics, 184, 215-219.e1. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpeds.2017.01.063

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. https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797616678438



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. https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797616678438

Przybylski, A. K., Weinstein, N., & Murayama, K. (2016). Internet Gaming Disorder: Investigating the Clinical Relevance of a New Phenomenon. American Journal of Psychiatry. https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.ajp.2016.16020224

Przybylski, A. K., & Wang, J. C. (2016). A large scale test of the gaming-enhancement hypothesis. PeerJ, 4, e2710. https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.2710

Przybylski, A. K. (2016). Mischievous responding in Internet Gaming Disorder research. PeerJ, 4, e2401. https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.2401

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. https://doi.org/10.1556/2006.5.2016.088

Przybylski, A. K., & Weinstein, N. (2016). How we see electronic games. PeerJ, 4, e1931. https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.1931



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. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h3064

Przybylski, A. K. (2014). Electronic Gaming and Psychosocial Adjustment. Pediatrics, 134(3), e716–e722. https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2013-4021

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. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0034820

Przybylski, A. K. (2014). Who Believes Electronic Games Cause Real World Aggression? Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 17(4), 228–234. https://doi.org/10.1089/cyber.2013.0245

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. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2013.02.014

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. https://doi.org/10.1177/0265407512453827

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. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0019440

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. https://doi.org/10.1089/cpb.2009.0083

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. https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167208327216

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. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11031-006-9051-8