Missouri University Research Suggest Depressed People Share Files and Check E-Mail Excessively

Posted Jun 17, 2012

A study is going to be published in an upcoming issue of IEEE Technology and Society Magazine that suggests people that have a tendency to share a lot of files and check e-mail excessively may be depressed. In February of last year, 216 undergraduate volunteers at Missouri University of Science and Technology filled out a questionnaire called the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale.

About 30% of the participants met the criteria for depressive symptoms and then the university’s information technology department provided them with campus Internet usage data for the participants.

Missouri University noticed that the more a participant’s score on the survey indicated depression, the more his or her Internet usage included P2P packets, suggesting high levels of sharing files like music and movies. They also had patterns of engaging in very high e-mail usage. The research was put together by Janet Morahan-Martin and Phyllis Schumacher.