The Psychology of Addiction to Virtual Environments

Deborah Abdel Nabi and John P. Charlton

in The Oxford Handbook of Virtuality

Published in print February 2014 | ISBN: 9780199826162
Published online December 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Music

The Psychology of Addiction to Virtual Environments

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Music
  • Music and Media
  • Applied Music


Show Summary Details


This chapter introduces the concept of addiction and, by comparing aspects of virtual and non-virtual addictions with each other, discusses whether it is appropriate to conceive of people as being addicted to the use of virtual environments and how prominent such addictions might be. Psychological mechanisms that are commonly held to result in addiction, such as variable-ratio reinforcement schedules, immersion, the need for psychological escape and mood modification, are considered. The chapter ends by discussing some emerging ideas as to how specific features and affordances of social network sites (SNSs) and graphical worlds are used to engage in identity analysis and exploration, and how such usage might result in addiction, often via the previously considered mechanisms.

Keywords: addiction; escape; immersion; mood modification; SNS; graphical worlds; self; identity

Article.  8849 words. 

Subjects: Music ; Music and Media ; Applied Music

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content. subscribe or purchase to access all content.