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Smartphone Use and Academic Performance: A Literature Review

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  • Amez, Simon

    () (Ghent University)

  • Baert, Stijn

    () (Ghent University)

Abstract

We present the first systematic review of the scientific literature on smartphone use and academic success. We synthesise the theoretical mechanisms, empirical approaches, and empirical findings described in the multidisciplinary literature to date. Our analysis of the literature reveals a predominance of empirical results supporting a negative association between students' frequency of smartphone use and their academic success. However, the strength of this association is heterogeneous by (a) the method of data gathering, (b) the measures of academic performance used in the analysis, and (c) the measures of smartphone use adopted. The main limitation identified in the literature is that the reported associations cannot be given a causal interpretation. Based on the reviewed findings and limitations, directions for further research are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Amez, Simon & Baert, Stijn, 2019. "Smartphone Use and Academic Performance: A Literature Review," IZA Discussion Papers 12723, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp12723
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Beland, Louis-Philippe & Murphy, Richard, 2016. "Ill Communication: Technology, distraction & student performance," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 61-76.
    2. Ivar Krumpal, 2013. "Determinants of social desirability bias in sensitive surveys: a literature review," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 47(4), pages 2025-2047, June.
    3. Giorgio Di Pietro & Andrea Cutillo, 2006. "University Quality and Labour Market Outcomes in Italy," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 20(1), pages 37-62, March.
    4. Baert, Stijn & Omey, Eddy & Verhaest, Dieter & Vermeir, Aurélie, 2015. "Mister Sandman, bring me good marks! On the relationship between sleep quality and academic achievement," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 91-98.
    5. Helen F. Ladd, 2002. "School Vouchers: A Critical View," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(4), pages 3-24, Fall.
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    Cited by:

    1. Stijn Baert & Sunčica Vujić & Simon Amez & Matteo Claeskens & Thomas Daman & Arno Maeckelberghe & Eddy Omey & Lieven De Marez, 2020. "Smartphone Use and Academic Performance: Correlation or Causal Relationship?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 73(1), pages 22-46, February.
    2. Simon Amez & Suncica Vujic & Lieven De Marez & Stijn Baert, 2019. "Smartphone Use and Academic Performance: First Evidence from Longitudinal Data," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 19/986, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    smartphone use; smartphone addiction; academic performance; literature review; causality;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software

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