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Facebook and Twitter: more addictive than cigarettes

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By The Drum Team, Editorial

February 2, 2012 | 1 min read

Research by the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business has found that resisting the urge to check social media sites for updates is harder than resisting alcohol or cigarettes.

The researchers fitted 250 participants with devices which logged nearly 8,000 reports about people's everyday desires.

It was found that although sleep was one of the desires felt the most during the day, the urges to keep on top of social media and work were the hardest to resist. Tobacco and alcohol, though addictive, proved much easier to refrain from.

Dr Wilhelm Hofmann, who led the research published in the Psychological Science journal, said: “Modern life is a welter of assorted desires marked by frequent conflict and resistance, the latter with uneven success.

"As a day wears on, willpower becomes lower and self-control efforts are more likely to fail.”

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