‘Phubbing’ can threaten our basic human needs

Ignoring someone you’re with in a social setting to concentrate on your mobile phone – called ‘phubbing’ – can have a negative effect on relationships by threatening our basic human need to belong.

Kent Psychologists studied the effect on individuals of being phubbed in a one-to-one social situation.

They found that increased phubbing significantly and negatively affected the way the person being phubbed felt about their interaction with the other person.

Researchers Varoth Chotpitayasunondh and Professor Karen Douglas, of Kent’s School of Psychology, considered phubbing a specific form of social exclusion that threatens people’s fundamental human needs: belonging, self-esteem, meaningful existence and control.

To read the full news story, go to Kent’s News Centre page. The study, entitled The effects of ‘phubbing’ on social interaction (Varoth Chotpitayasunondh & Karen M. Douglas) is published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology.