The Path to Hedonic Information System Use Addiction: A Process Model in the Context of Social Networking Sites

Published: 18 July 2023

Authors: Isaac Vaghefi, Bogdan Negoita, and Liette Lapointe

Publication: Information Systems Research; Volume 34, Issue 1, March 2023, Pages 85-110


This study answers the call for a longitudinal view of addiction to hedonic information systems (IS) use by proposing a process model of its development, in the context of social networking site use. Through inductive and iterative analyses of primary data collected via interviews and surveys, and secondary data in the form of narrative accounts, we explain the process of addiction development via three phases associated with nominal, compulsive, and addicted use. In each phase, combinations of salient individual needs, affordances, technology features, IS use behaviors, and control mechanism outcomes (successful or unsuccessful) influence an individual’s trajectory toward hedonic IS use addiction. Drawing on cybernetic theory, we explain the role of users’ control mechanisms. We show how deficiencies related to the sensing, comparing, or regulating act, in conjunction with salient affordances, influence the development of addiction. The findings extend variance-based research on IS use addiction. They carry implications for research, users, technology providers, and policy makers in relation to hedonic IS use addiction.


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