E-Rhythms During Adolescence, 2013-2017


The primary objective of this study is to provide a rich understanding of mobile phone based peer bonding during adolescence and its consequences for social capital using an innovative data collection technique that triangulates smartphone log data, on-screen survey questions, and in-depth interviews.


Two sets of data will be collected. First, a random selection of 500 adolescent and 500 adult Android smartphone users will be drawn from a nationally representative panel of Canadians. These participants will install a smartphone application that will collect non-identifying information about their voice calling, texting, and email interactions. The application will then ask a brief set of on-screen survey questions about specific social ties.


Second, in-depth interviews will be conducted with a separate stratified random sample of 50 adolescent high school students who are Android users and live in the Greater Toronto Area. Prior to the interview student respondents will install the Android smartphone application and the researchers will conduct a brief preliminary analysis of voice calling, texting, and email patterns. The in-depth interviews will focus on understanding the motivations and stories behind interaction patterns uncovered during the preliminary analysis.



Collaborators and Funding

This study is directed by Dr. Jeffrey Boase. Faculty collaborators include: Dr. Tetsuro Kobayashi, Dr. Rhonda McEwen, Dr. James Katz, and Dr. Rich Ling.


This study is funded through a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Canada.






The Network Navigator Study, 2011-2012


This study focuses on a field experiment conducted with 193 adults living in Japan and 132 adults living in the US. All respondents installed the Network Navigator application on their Android phones, which collected non-identifying voice call, texting, and email log data and administered on-screen survey questions. The analysis focuses on the extent to which respondents in these two countries reconnected with dormant ties after reminders had been given by the application. Dormant ties are defined as those ties with whom there had been above average communication, but with whom there was is no recorded communication 60 days prior to the reminder.



Collaborators and Funding

The Network Navigator Study was co-directed by Dr. Tetsuro Kobayashi and Dr. Jeffrey Boase.


The Network Navigator Study was supported through funding from the National Institute of Informatics, Japan and Ryerson University, Canada.






The Communication Explorer Study, 2009-2011


This study examines the implications of smartphone use and self-report survey data using data collected from respondents living in Japan and the United States.  The data for this project was collected using the Communication Explorer smartphone application that was developed by Dr. Jeffrey Boase and Dr. Tetsuro Kobayashi to anonymize and collect voice, text, and email log data. Data was obtained during the winter and spring of 2011 from participants who had registered as potential respondents with a company specializing in Internet surveys. Participation was limited to those aged 20–69 with Android smartphones who used Gmail on a daily basis. Participants responded to an online pre-survey on their computer screen, installed the application on their smartphones, and used it for approximately one month.



Collaborators and Funding

The Communication Explorer Study was co-directed by Dr. Tetsuro Kobayashi and Dr. Jeffrey Boase.


The Communication Explorer Study was supported through funding from the National Institute of Informatics, Japan and Rutgers University, USA.