London: Depressed people may spend more time on certain online activities, scientists have found.The team of four researchers at the Missouri University of Science and Technology (MST) were the first to investigate Internet traffic and match it to anonymised students who had symptoms of depression.In their paper, the scientists have written that “several Internet usage features... exhibit a statistically significant correlation with depressive symptoms.”They are careful to point out, however, that they were not able to establish whether one caused the other.The cross-disciplinary research involved academics in computer science, psychology and computer engineering studying 216 undergraduate subjects.The research breaks new ground as previous studies relied on subjects to report their own Internet usage accurately through questionnaires.By breaking Internet traffic into eight categories, ranging from web browsing to remote file access, the researchers managed to compare the usage of students with and without symptoms of depression.
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