Study title
Digital Lives: What does smartphone-mediated communication feel like?
Ref study 13984
Study language English
Contributing institutions
  • Young adults
  • Quantitative methods
  • smartphone-mediated communication
01.12.2018 - 30.11.2020
Geographical space
Ticino, Switzerland
  • Switzerland
The project was guided by the overarching question: “What does smartphone-mediated communication feel like?”. The primary goal was to assess perceptions of mediated communication, using an experimental design and both self-report and psychophysiological data.
This project included two experimental studies where we manipulated synchronicity (immediate or delayed interactions), modality (text with or without emojis), and message valence (positive or negative). The use of psychophysiological data in the second experiment was an innovative element as these data have rarely been collected to study the context of mediated communication.
In addition to the two experimental studies, self-report data collected from the pre-questionnaires of both studies were analyzed to test: a) a moderated mediation model on the role of dispositional trust, social anxiety, and smartphone use in predicting problematic smartphone use, and b) the role of personality traits (including negative affectivity, impulsiveness, and delay of gratification) in association with problematic smartphone use, and their physiological effects on smartphone-mediated communication.
Methods (description)
Two experimental studies were conducted in a laboratory setting, used to manipulate one-to-one SMC interaction.
Experiment 1: Dependent on the experimental condition, in the experimental phase participants received manipulated replies, either with an empathic accurate or an empathic inaccurate message (i.e., positive vs. negative valence), with or without emojis (i.e., high vs. low richness of modality), and immediate replies or 7 minutes delay replies (i.e., synchronicity vs. asynchronicity). In the post-experimental phase social presence, both subjective and perceptive, attribution of other's personality, interpersonal trust and social support were assessed. Experiment 2 replicates the design of the Exp1 adding physiological measures. Two additional studies originated from this research project, analyzing smartphone-mediated communication with self-reported data (neuroticism, social anxiety, impulsivity, urge for gratification, dispositional trust, personality, smartphone use and smartphone addiction) have been conducted. Measures, pre-test details, methods and protocols are attached with datasets.
Methods (instruments)
  • Laboratory experiment
Replicated study No
Financed by
Ethical approval Yes
Study type
Data availability
Source (Updates) Web
Date created 20.01.2021
Date modified 29.01.2021
Start - End date 01.12.2018 - 30.11.2020