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In PloS one ; h5-index 176.0

This paper reports a two-part study examining the relationship between fear of missing out (FoMO) and maladaptive behaviors in college students. This project used a cross-sectional study to examine whether college student FoMO predicts maladaptive behaviors across a range of domains (e.g., alcohol and drug use, academic misconduct, illegal behavior). Participants (N = 472) completed hard copy questionnaire packets assessing trait FoMO levels and questions pertaining to unethical and illegal behavior while in college. Part 1 utilized traditional statistical analyses (i.e., hierarchical regression modeling) to identify any relationships between FoMO, demographic variables (socioeconomic status, living situation, and gender) and the behavioral outcomes of interest. Part 2 looked to quantify the predictive power of FoMO, and demographic variables used in Part 1 through the convergent approach of supervised machine learning. Results from Part 1 indicate that college student FoMO is indeed related to many diverse maladaptive behaviors spanning the legal and illegal spectrum. Part 2, using various techniques such as recursive feature elimination (RFE) and principal component analysis (PCA) and models such as logistic regression, random forest, and Support Vector Machine (SVM), showcased the predictive power of implementing machine learning. Class membership for these behaviors (offender vs. non-offender) was predicted at rates well above baseline (e.g., 50% at baseline vs 87% accuracy for academic misconduct with just three input variables). This study demonstrated FoMO's relationships with these behaviors as well as how machine learning can provide additional predictive insights that would not be possible through inferential statistical modeling approaches typically employed in psychology, and more broadly, the social sciences. Research in the social sciences stands to gain from regularly utilizing the more traditional statistical approaches in tandem with machine learning.

McKee Paul C, Budnick Christopher J, Walters Kenneth S, Antonios Imad