University of Twente Student Theses


Caught In The Loop: The Effects of The Addictive Nature Of Short-form Videos On Users’ Perceived Attention Span And Mood

Kohler, T.J. (2023) Caught In The Loop: The Effects of The Addictive Nature Of Short-form Videos On Users’ Perceived Attention Span And Mood.

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Abstract:Background: Short-form videos, characterised by their brevity, have become immensely popular on social media platforms, captivating users with engaging content in a short amount of time. However, their addictive nature and impact on attention span can lead to frustration and difficulty concentrating on longer tasks. Aim: This study makes use of qualitative data to investigate how people report on perceived short-form video effects on attention span and mood. Method: The research design consisted out of 15 semi-structured interviews. Young people, ranging from 19 to 24 years old, living either in the Netherlands or Germany have participated within the study. The study was split into three parts: First participants had to watch short-form videos for a duration of 7 minutes, which was followed by a Stroop test which measured the attention of participants. After that, interviews have been held in which the participants discussed own social media behaviour, short-form video consumption behaviour and potential effects of short-form videos on attention span and mood in a personal and societal scope. Results: The study found that participants spent about an hour per day watching short-form videos and acknowledged their addictive nature. While immediate effects on attention span were not apparent, participants reported feeling less focused in their daily lives and recognised a connection between short-form video consumption and attention span. Mood was negatively affected when participants struggled to concentrate, but overall, the reported impact on mood was not significant. The participants mainly observed a link between short-form videos, attention span, and mood in others. Conclusion: The study revealed that short-form videos can affect attention span and mood. Immediate effects on attention span were not observed but participants reported feeling less concentrated in their daily lives. The cycle of disappointment presents how mood and attention span of the participants are affected by short-form videos, however they were not able to recognise a significant effect on their mood in their day-to-day life. Participants experienced difficulties in reporting about their own perceived effects, therefore further research is needed to explore the interconnected nature of mood and attention span in relation to short-form video consumption. Implications: Individuals should be more aware of their social media usage and engage in self-regulation, while schools and policymakers can implement awareness programs and regulations on social media platforms. Additionally, providing mental health support and resources is crucial for those experiencing negative effects from excessive social media usage. Keywords: social media, short-form videos, qualitative study, addictive nature, attention span, mood
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies BSc (56615)
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