Understanding the Relationship between Media Use and Maladaptive Daydreaming
Previous research about maladaptive daydreaming revealed media consumption’s role as a trigger and accompaniment of maladaptive daydreaming. This thesis builds on the previous literature, and explores how media consumption goes in tandem with maladaptive daydreaming by focusing on the behavioral dimensions of media use and daydreaming. For this purpose, literature from psychology, neuroscience, cultural studies, and media studies are synthesized. Daydreaming and media use are conceptualized as cultural practices that can be potentially addictive due to the rewarding experiences they provide. Subsequently, the relationship between maladaptive daydreaming and media use are analyzed in the context of the current interactive online media architecture. Specifically, maladaptive daydreaming patterns are analyzed in regard to three levels of media use: media use as a trigger for daydreaming, media use as an accompaniment of daydreaming, and online media use patterns as they relate to maladaptive daydreaming. To address these relationships, quantitative research is conducted. Postings were made to online platforms about maladaptive daydreaming, and an online survey is administered to 141 people who self-identify as maladaptive daydreamers. The first finding of this research is that maladaptive daydreamers who are being triggered more by media are more severely maladaptive daydreaming. Secondly, a relationship is found between daydreaming more frequently and listening to music more frequently. Thirdly, a relationship is established between daydreaming more frequently and surfing in the Internet more frequently. In conclusion, this thesis characterizes the relationship between maladaptive daydreaming and media use, and makes suggestions for future research.
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