Article

The Mere Presence of a Cell Phone May be Distracting: Implications for Attention and Task Performance

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Abstract

Research consistently demonstrates the active use of cell phones, whether talking or texting, to be distracting and contributes to diminished performance when multitasking (e.g., distracted driving or walking). Recent research also has indicated that simply the presence of a cell phone and what it might represent (i.e., social connections, broader social network, etc.) can be similarly distracting and have negative consequences in a social interaction. Results of two studies reported here provide further evidence that the "mere presence" of a cell phone may be sufficiently distracting to produce diminished attention and deficits in task-performance, especially for tasks with greater attentional and cognitive demands. The implications for such an unintended negative consequence may be quite wide-ranging (e.g., productivity in school and the work place).

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... Przybylski and Weinstein's [12] findings would suggest that the mere presence of a phone may hurt group creativity, since it would presumably prevent an optimal relationship between group members. Another example is research showing that the mere presence of a mobile phone taxes working memory [47][48][49][50][51], which is another critical antecedent of creative thinking. Working memory is needed to transform preliminary mental idea components into creative ideas [52][53][54][55], and one type of working memory-short-term memory-is an additional aid in group-settings to remember others' ideas and stimulate one's idea generation, as well as to avoid idea loss when waiting to speak [56,57]. ...
... Note that some research suggests that there may be a positive effect of the mere presence of a phone on creativity. The mere exposure to a mobile phone was shown to divert attention away from a focal task [47,[49][50][51]. In turn, research suggests that diverting the attention away from a creative task can be beneficial to generate ideas and solutions [40,[58][59][60]. ...
... The failed replication result directly adds to the line of research on the negative consequences of the mere presence of a mobile device [12,13,[49][50][51], by suggesting that this negative influence may not be as marked as was previously assumed. If we cannot exclude that there might be other instances where this presence is harmful, our findings at least point out the fragility of [78][79][80]. ...
Article
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A 2013 article reported two experiments suggesting that the mere presence of a cellphone (vs. a notebook) can impair the relationship quality between strangers. The purpose of the present research is twofold: (1) closely replicate this article’s findings, and (2) examine whether there may be an impact of the mere presence of a phone on creativity, whether at a group- or an individual- level. In two experiments ( N = 356 participants, 136 groups), we followed the original procedure in the 2013 article. In particular, groups of participants who had never seen each other before the study had a conversation in the mere presence of either a smartphone or a notebook. The participants then carried out creative tasks, in groups (Studies 1 and 2) or alone (Study 1). In both studies, we failed to replicate the original results on relationship quality. We also failed to find any effect of the mere presence of a phone on creativity. We discuss possible reasons which may have caused differences between our results and the original ones. Our main conclusion is an effect of the mere presence of a phone on relationship quality and creativity is at minimum harder to find than what was previously assumed in the literature. More generally, this research contributes to qualify the view that smartphones are harmful.
... Above the temporary attentional capture produced by the notification, the authors argued that it might place a new prospective memory demand (i.e., waiting to respond, willingness to do so promptly) that could give rise to taskirrelevant thoughts (see also Waddell and Wiener, 2014). In the same vein, because smartphones allow us to interact with social media and "infotainment" systems, others authors argued that their mere presence might serve as a constant reminder of the broader social network that is potentially available (Thornton et al., 2014). In their study, the mere presence of participants' own phones on their desktops negatively affected performance on attentional tasks, even though no incoming call nor message reception occurred during data collection. ...
... In their study, the mere presence of participants' own phones on their desktops negatively affected performance on attentional tasks, even though no incoming call nor message reception occurred during data collection. Accordingly, such a constant reminder of social network availability might also trigger mind wandering (Thornton et al., 2014;Stothart et al., 2015). Conjointly, other authors claimed that smartphones could produce cognitive distraction by draining attentional resources out of the task for the purpose of attentional control (Ward et al., 2017). ...
... Simultaneously, stimuli previously associated with social reward could appear as distractors on a smartphone, irrelevantly displayed in one corner of the pictures, as if put on the car dashboard, next to the wheel (e.g., as when used as a GPS device). Previous studies have reported that cognitive distraction triggered by a smartphone mainly occurred during attentional-demanding tasks (Thornton et al., 2014;Stothart et al., 2015). Accordingly, considering attention as a limited resource process (Kahneman, 1973;Shiffrin and Schneider, 1977), performance deficits due to smartphone distraction might be minimal with simple tasks that can be done with little or no attentional resources. ...
Article
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Smartphones are particularly likely to elicit driver distraction with obvious negative repercussions on road safety. Recent selective attention models lead to expect that smartphones might be very effective in capturing attention due to their social reward history. Hence, individual differences in terms of Fear of Missing Out (FoMO) – i.e., of the apprehension of missing out on socially rewarding experiences – should play an important role in driver distraction. This factor has already been associated with self-reported estimations of greater attention paid to smartphones while driving, but the potential link between FoMO and smartphone-induced distraction has never been tested empirically. Therefore, we conducted a preliminary study to investigate whether FoMO would modulate attentional capture by reward distractors displayed on a smartphone. First, participants performed a classical visual search task in which neutral stimuli (colored circles) were associated with high or low social reward outcomes. Then, they had to detect a pedestrian or a roe deer in driving scenes with various levels of fog density. The social reward stimuli were displayed as distractors on the screen of a smartphone embedded in the pictures. The results showed a significant three-way interaction between FoMO, social reward distraction, and task difficulty. More precisely, under attention-demanding conditions (i.e., high-fog density), individual FoMO scores predicted attentional capture by social reward distractors, with longer reaction times (RTs) for high rather than low social reward distractors. These results highlight the importance to consider reward history and FoMO when investigating smartphone-based distraction. Limitations are discussed, notably regarding our sample characteristics (i.e., mainly young females) that might hamper the generalization of our findings to the overall population. Future research directions are provided.
... A study in the field of cognitive psychology analyzed the role cues play in alleviating negative effects on performance in task switching (Chorev & Sapir, 2000). A review of research into external pulls as a result of the use of electronic devices found that these devices contribute to cognitive overload in task switching (Thornton, et al., 2014;Weksler & Weksler, 2012). The consequences of task switching on attention highlight the ability to limit the effects of task switching and the demands on executive function (Brand, 2007). ...
... Research from two studies show that external pulls from electronic devices, primarily mobile telephones, play a significant role in attention residue from task switching (Thornton, et al., 2014;Weksler & Weksler, 2012). One study describing scientific literature and in personal observation support the view that the overuse or misuse of electronic devices promotes cognitive overload (Weksler & Weksler, 2012). ...
... One study describing scientific literature and in personal observation support the view that the overuse or misuse of electronic devices promotes cognitive overload (Weksler & Weksler, 2012). This cognitive overload can then lead to attention residue when working on a task due to the constant connectivity, continual interruptions and distractions from these devices (Newport, 2016;Thornton, et al., 2014). Research further demonstrates that just the presence of a cell phone can cause distraction to the current task (Rubinstein, Meyer, Evans, 2001;Stothart, Mitchum, Yehnert, 2015;Thornton, et al., 2014). ...
Article
This article researches the carryover of attention when switching from one task to the next. This is known as attention residue. The primary foci of this paper is to determine the role attention residue plays in learning and working environments, what causes attention residue, and what is understood to help alleviate the negative effects. While much research has been done on multi-tasking, attention residue is different in that tasks are not taking place at the same time, but in sequential order. The study focuses on adolescents and adults with specific attention on university students. This project reviewed literature from psychology, neuroscience and education with primary sources coming from psychology and neuroscience. The findings of the study reveal many negative effects on tasks following previous tasks when attention is carried over from a previous task. This article also discusses studies that have argued to be both effective and ineffective methods of alleviating attention residue. brought to you by CORE View metadata, citation and similar papers at core.ac.uk provided by Asia University Academic Repositories 216 Attention Residue: An Inquiry into Attention Carryover from One Task to the Next in University Students This project investigates the carryover of attention from one task to the next. The goals are to first better understand the reasons and science behind this carryover of attention and to find methods to alleviate attention remaining in working memory from the first task so that more attention can be placed on the current task at hand. The age groups primarily focused on will be adolescents and adults. This study is to be used as a foundation in preparation for further research on the effect attention carryover from task switching has on adult English language learning students. If a negative effect is discovered, this will be followed by further research on what methods are and are not effective in alleviating attention carryover in adult English language learners.
... However, in the context of focused work, even the mere presence of smartphones can be distracting. As such, previous research has shown that the mere presence of a smartphone negatively influences task performance (Canale et al., 2019;Thornton, Faires, Robbins, & Rollins, 2014;Ward, Duke, Gneezy, & Bos, 2017), even if it is not the participant's own smartphone (Thornton et al., 2014). Similarly, research has shown that people report being distracted by the presence of their smartphones (Johannes, Veling, Verwijmeren, & Buijzen, 2018). ...
... However, in the context of focused work, even the mere presence of smartphones can be distracting. As such, previous research has shown that the mere presence of a smartphone negatively influences task performance (Canale et al., 2019;Thornton, Faires, Robbins, & Rollins, 2014;Ward, Duke, Gneezy, & Bos, 2017), even if it is not the participant's own smartphone (Thornton et al., 2014). Similarly, research has shown that people report being distracted by the presence of their smartphones (Johannes, Veling, Verwijmeren, & Buijzen, 2018). ...
... In this study, we investigated the distracting effect of the smartphone's mere presence. Even though previous work found an effect of the smartphone's mere presence (Canale et al., 2019;Thornton et al., 2014;Ward et al., 2017), others could not replicate these findings (Hartmann, Martarelli, Reber, & Rothen, 2020;Johannes et al., 2018). With this study, we build on these previous studies on the smartphone's mere presence effect but extend it in two ways. ...
Article
Smartphones are a daily companion and ensure users' constant connectedness. In the context of focused work, however, smartphone presence may be problematic. Previous research has shown that even the mere presence of smartphones is distracting. The present study reexamined the smartphone's mere presence effect on performance. In addition, we investigated whether the mere presence of smartphones is visually distracting or creates smartphone-related thoughts. In a laboratory experiment, we compared participants (N = 103) with their smartphone present versus absent. Using mobile eye tracking glasses, we tracked how often people looked at their smartphone while performing cognitive and reading tasks. Our study could not replicate the negative effect of smartphone presence on performance. Results revealed that people rarely looked at their smartphones during the tasks. However, smartphones drew users' visual attention during breaks and transitions between tasks. We also showed that smartphone presence increased smartphone vigilance but had no effect on task performance. Our study contributes to understanding the underlying mechanisms of the smartphone's mere presence effects on performance. With this study, we extend previous research by showing that people can regulate their visual attention to smartphones.
... People use smartphones at busy intersections and on crowded sidewalks [1,2,3]; as a result, they are unaware of their surroundings [4]. This is known as "Distracted Walking" [5,6], while the people who engage in distracted walking are referred to as "Smartphone Zombies" or "Smombies" in short [7,8]. Smartphone Zombies are not aware of situational changes and impending obstacles. ...
... It divides the process into offline training and online detection. In offline training, Walksafe used the MIT CBCL car dataset 5 and the Caltech Cars dataset 6 . Walksafe builds a model with positive and negative training images and uses it to recognize positive matches in online detection steps. ...
... CBCL car dataset -http://cbcl.mit.edu/software-datasets/CarData.html6 Caltech Cars dataset -http://www.vision.caltech.edu/archive.html ...
Article
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Pedestrian safety has emerged recently as a public health challenge worldwide. People are being physically harmed due to losing focus on their surroundings and putting safety at risk. Though pedestrian safety is a shared responsibility, researchers suggest that distractions by smart devices and reduced cognitive skills are major causes of accidents. There is a scope to assist pedestrians through amplifying cognitive skills using heterogeneous Internet of Things (IoT) and sensors. These technologies could discover and warn users about unanticipated events such as just-in-time warnings about the hazards, distractions, extreme weather, and potential impending dangers. An automated personalized agent helps monitor, diagnose problems, and protect people in an urban environment. Researchers have proposed various systems and implemented them in multiple domains. In this survey, we assessed, analyzed, and compared the most recent research on pedestrian safety. We identified the challenges, research gaps, and future directions towards using technology to improve pedestrian safety.
... Smartphones are ubiquitous digital devices that offer multiple communication affordances to half of the world's population (15), and may interfere with how attentional resources are allocated, constituting an emerging area of research (16)(17)(18)(19). Increasing evidence suggests that smartphone use triggers frequent interruptions and breaks from main tasks, further interfering with cognitive processes and ability (20)(21)(22)(23)(24), cognitive functioning (25)(26)(27)(28), and associated with distraction and compromised performance (26)(27)(28) resulting in sub-optimal learning among young people (29,30). Disruption from smartphone use is even more prominent within classroom environments (31)(32)(33), hindering academic achievement due to interference with primary tasks (12,34) and in less engaging academic contexts, prompting lower motivational levels and comprehension (12,35,36), task performance (37), and chronic media multitasking (12). ...
... There are reasons to expect a high degree of overlap among the four dimensions, reflected in the high co-variances amongst the factors as well as in the error terms of specific items. All dimensions measured distraction within smartphone use and had an implicit or explicit focus on cognitive preoccupation with smartphone content (primarily social media content, for emotion regulation and resulting attention loss, potentially leading to checking and multitasking), in accordance with evidence (12,23,24,237,(258)(259)(260). Therefore, the overlap and the high inter-correlation amongst the factors was expected. ...
Article
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Background: Distraction is a functional emotion regulation strategy utilized to relieve emotional distress. Within the attention economy perspective, distraction is increasingly associated with digital technology use, performance impairments and interference with higher-order cognitive processes. Research on smartphone distraction and its association with problematic smartphone use is still scarce and there is no available psychometric assessment tool to assess this cognitive and emotive process parsimoniously. Method: The present study reports the development and evaluation of the psychometric properties of the Smartphone Distraction Scale (SDS) through exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis, construct validity, gender invariance, and latent mean differences. The study was conducted in a sample of British university students (N = 1,001; M = 21.10 years, SD = 2.77). Results: The 16-item SDS was best conceptualized in a four-factor model solution comprising attention impulsiveness, online vigilance, emotion regulation, and multitasking. Construct validity was established using relevant psychosocial and mental health measures, with SDS scores being moderately associated with deficient self-regulation and problematic social media use. Gender measurement invariance was achieved at the configural, metric, and scalar levels, and latent mean differences indicated that females had significantly higher means than males across all four SDS latent factors. Discussion: The SDS presents with several strengths, including its theoretical grounding, relatively short length, and sound psychometric properties. The SDS enables the assessment of distraction, which appears to be one of the pathways to problematic smartphone use facilitating overuse and overreliance on smartphones for emotion regulation processes. The assessment of distraction in relation to problematic use in vulnerable populations may facilitate interventions that could encourage metacognition and benefit these groups by allowing sustained productivity in an increasingly disrupted work and social environment.
... In this study, it is not clear whether the facilitative effect of the presence of cell phones on creativity is stronger than the disruptive effect produced by distraction. Although multiple researchers have observed negative effects of cell phone presence [28][29][30][31][32]62,63 , many others have concluded that it is difficult to replicate the effects of a cell phone's presence and that the effects can even be described as weak [64][65][66][67] . It is likely that other potential factors (e.g., task meaningfulness to participants and individual differences in emotion-related impulsivity) can moderate or limit the negative effects such that they are not evident in a wide range of situations. ...
Article
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In today’s advanced information society, creativity in work is highly valued, and there is growing interest in the kinds of work environments that produce more creative outcomes. Recent researchers have demonstrated that when environmental factors change a worker’s attentional state to a diffused state, the worker has access to more information than usual, which can contribute to creativity. Here, we examined whether manipulating environmental factors (the presence of a cell phone and exposure to natural environment) that could affect such attention states would improve performance on the Remote Associates Task, a measure of creativity. Our results showed that the presence of a cell phone increased creative performance regardless of immersion in natural environment. In contrast, exposure to nature did not facilitate creative performance; instead, feelings of pleasure increased, and frustration decreased. These results suggest that the presence of a cell phone can enhance creativity by influencing workers’ attentional states. The current study provides a meaningful approach to enhancing creativity by modulating attentional states through environmental factors. It also highlights the essential features of environmental factors that can moderate creative abilities.
... According to Smith (2012), almost half of those who own a smartphone are constantly checking their emails, even if they have not received a notification, and sleep with their phone next to their bed so they do not miss any calls or updates. This constant preoccupation with checking incoming messages during waking hours, in addition to the use of ICTs for unpaid work in the evenings and on weekends (Messenger, 2019), is done in order for the worker to feel that they are coping (Collins et al., 2015;Thornton et al., 2014). This means that employees are always available (Mesquita et al., 2020), and have greater opportunity to become distracted by social media and news feeds (Schwarzmüller et al., 2018). ...
Research
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How working parents used personal and work-based technology during Lockdown 1.0, in spring and early summer of 2020, while simultaneously juggling home and childcare responsibilities.
... Ringtones (Clayton et al., 2015) and notifications (Stothart et al., 2015) negatively impact cognitive performance. Further, some studies have identified a "brain drain" effect, where a visible smartphone -even when turned off and face-down -distracts from cognitive tasks (Thornton et al., 2014;Ward et al., 2017). However, this effect has not consistently manifested in subsequent work (Hartmann et al., 2020;Johannes et al., 2018), pointing to a need to better understand the conditions under which it occurs. ...
Article
In recent decades, mobile media and communication have become integral to human psychology, including how people think and feel. Although the popular press, parents, and educators often voice concerns about the integration of mobile media into everyday life (e.g., “smartphone addiction”), the growing body of scholarship in this area offers a mix of positive, negative, and conditional effects of mobile media use. This review article traverses this variegated scholarship by assembling cognitive and affective implications of mobile media and communication. It identifies information processing, offloading, spatial cognition, habit, attention, and phantom vibrations as cognitive themes, and feelings of pleasure, stress/anxiety, safety/security, connectedness, and control as affective themes. Along the way, it helps bring structure to this growing and interdisciplinary area of scholarship, ground psychological work on mobile media in theorizing on technological embedding, inform academic and public debates, and identify opportunities for future research.
... However, the cognitive distortions of an individual can be greatly influenced by smartphone and internet addiction. For instance, the existence of the cell phone may cause reduced concentration and deteriorated performance, particularly for advanced cognitive skill demanding tasks (Thornton et al., 2014). Additionally, cognitive distortion was identified as significantly related to the dimensions and semi-dimensions of smart-phone addiction (i.e. ...
Article
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The smartphone and internet are drawing much attraction, particularly to the young generation. This addictive device grips an individual into an unresponsive globe, which is filled with virtual lives. Therefore, examining its impact on our behavior has become a matter of great concern. In this study, we intended to investigate the impact of smartphone addiction and internet addiction on cognitive distortion between urban and rural students. In addition, exploring the link between the smartphone, internet addiction, and cognitive distortion were another aim of the study. For these purposes, smart phone addiction scale, internet addiction scale and cognition distortion scale were administered on purposively selected two hundred school and college students.The outcomes of the study illustrated that significant variation was observed in smartphone addiction between the urban and rural students, particularly, in the dimensions of most frequently type of use (i.e., game), the purpose of use, and problematic use. Interestingly, no significant differencewas detected in terms of internet addiction and cognitive distortion among them. Moreover, correlation analyses revealed that smartphone addiction and internet addiction was related to cognitive distortion for both urban and rural students. In addition, regarding the sub-dimension of the smartphone, it was also noticed that the entire sub-factors were notably positively associated with cognitive distortion, excepting the stress relief dimension, which is considered as the semi subfactor of the subscale named purpose of use.
... One part of these studies has investigated to what extent social media are distracting. These studies have shown that even the mere presence of a smartphone, the device adolescents typically use for social media, can lead to distraction (e.g., Johannes, Veling, Verwijmeren, & Buijzen, 2019;Kushlev, Proulx, & Dunn, 2016;Stothart, Mitchum, & Yehnert, 2015;Thornton, Faires, Robbins, & Rollins, 2014). A second part of these studies has shown that these social media or smartphone distractions are related to various outcomes, such as academic achievement (e.g., Fox, Rosen, & Crawford, 2009;McCoy, 2016), task performance (Brooks, 2015), well-being (Johannes et al., 2020), and productivity (Mark, Iqbal, & Czerwinski, 2017). ...
Article
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A widespread concern in society is that adolescents experience an increased inability to concentrate and sustain attention because they are continuously distracted by social media. The current experience sampling method (ESM) study examined whether adolescents who use more social media than their peers experience more distraction (between-person association), whether social media use (SMU) and distraction co-fluctuate within adolescents (momentary within-person associations), and to what extent this within-person association differs from person to person (person-specific associations). With a sample of 383 adolescents (Mage = 14.11), who together completed 35,099 ESM surveys (73% compliance), we found both a positive between-person association (β = .31) and a positive momentary within-person association (β = .12) of SMU with distraction. The momentary within-person association differed from adolescent to adolescent: While SMU and distraction were positively associated among 82.5% of all adolescents, they were not associated among 15.7% of the adolescents, and negatively associated among 1.8% of the adolescents. Additional analyses on the direction of the effect showed that the within-person effect of SMU on subsequent levels of distraction was somewhat stronger (β = .05) than the effect of distraction on subsequent levels of SMU (β = .03).
... By deepening our analysis, we found that the indicators that had strong correlations most often are those that are related to cell phone use: "Checks cell phone", "Cell phone rings" and "Talks on the cell phone". This is consistent with previous claims that the cell phone can negatively affect labor productivity (Malan 2019;Thornton et al. 2014). Although within the protocols of the construction company it is forbidden to use the cell phone, it was very complex to avoid its use because the participants argued that it was their working tool. ...
Conference Paper
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Due to the low productivity of the construction sector and current global pandemic conditions, it is essential to analyze interpersonal relationships at work, engagement and labour productivity, through the management of commitments. Therefore, this article seeks to measure and analyze key Linguistic Action Perspective (LAP) indicators to examine commitment management in Last Planner® System (LPS) weekly work planning meetings during the pandemic (virtual and face-to-face meetings). The case of study methodology was used in 27 projects of a construction company in Colombia, in which the authors analyzed the results of LAP engagement indicators and compared them to the PPC, determining Spearman´s correlation coefficient in each indicator and finding that the projects that had strong correlations were those where: the percentage of progress was between 65% and 95%; average PPC was between 60% and 90%; a "Big Room" was used; and the meetings had between 10 and 20 attendees. For future research, we propose the use of other methods of relationship, causation and/or prediction analysis, such as Structural Equation Models or Machine Learning, a future methodology for virtual or semi-face-to-face meetings and the study of other performance indicators.
... For example, one oft-described aspect of smartphone usage in everyday life is multitasking (Judd, 2014), which can have negative effects, such as delayed completion of primary tasks (e.g., Leiva, Böhmer, Gehring, & Krüger, 2012, September) but also positive ones, such as better task-switching abilities (Alzahabi & Becker, 2013) or better multisensory integration (Lui & Wong, 2012). Furthermore, past research has found that even the mere presence of a smartphone can reduce cognitive capacity, resulting in lower scores on intelligence tests (e.g., working memory, fluid intelligence; Ward et al., 2017) or reduced task performance, especially for tasks with high cognitive demands (Thornton et al., 2014). 4 Similar studies exist about children doing a school test (Beland & Murphy, 2016;Levine et al., 2007). ...
... However, even when focused work time is being scheduled, one still needs to manage (electronic) distractions: e.g. by not checking email and by putting the cellphone farther away. To this regard, research has shown that the mere presence of a phone may be distracting (Thornton et al., 2014). Therefore, putting the phone in a drawer of another room, may be one of those simple habits that have the potential to support knowledge workers in this increasingly virtual world (for more information also see Crabbe, 2016;. ...
Thesis
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In a time characterized by growing uncertainty, e.g. because of the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic, effective leadership is more important than ever. In addition, employee well-being has been named one of the critical drivers of business success. In this dissertation, we therefore answer the following overarching question: Exactly how can leaders contribute to employee well-being? In order to answer this question, we execute several theoretical and empirical studies, and we also develop new ways of investigating leader (communication) behavior itself. In the first part of this dissertation, we look into the main ways in which positive leadership styles influence employee work engagement. In the first theoretical study, we argue why certain leader behaviors are shared across positive leadership styles, and we identify several theory-driven processes and pathways through which leaders can influence employee work engagement. In the second study, a moderated meta-analysis, we investigate the meta-correlation of positive leadership styles and work engagement, as well as provide an empirically-driven overview of categories of mediating and moderating mechanisms, to end up with an overarching research model. In the second part of this dissertation, we look into the role of leaders’ own well-being, for both their own leadership as well as for employee well-being. In the first study, we test a moderated mediation and find that 1) mindfulness is an antecedent of positive leadership (here: transformational leadership), 2) leaders’ psychological need satisfaction mediates the relationship between mindfulness and transformational leadership and 3) neuroticism moderates the relationship between mindfulness and relatedness need satisfaction. In the second study, with multilevel and multisource data, we investigate the trickle-down effect of leaders’ psychological need satisfaction. We find that psychological need satisfaction indeed trickles down to employees, mediated by (employee-rated) levels of LMX. We also find a direct positive association between leader competence and employee competence, as well as a negative one between leader autonomy and employee competence. In the last part of this dissertation, we look into how we can improve leader communication to increase employee well-being. In the first study we develop a new construct and validate a new 10-item questionnaire for leader attentive communication (LAC), i.e. an open-minded, attentive demeanor while in a conversation with an employee. We also find that psychological need satisfaction and Kahn’s conditions for engagement mediate the relationship between LAC and work engagement. In the second study, we devise and test a two-day training protocol to improve leader communication. Despite an interference by the pandemic in the data-collection, we find small increases in employee-rated outcomes after the training. We also find that employee-rated LAC is related to employee well-being, and that this is mediated by both psychological need satisfaction and Kahn’s conditions for engagement.
... Students should reduce the number of distractions in their study environment. The mere presence of a smartphone might reduce the ability to concentrate and learn (Thornton et al., 2014). Furthermore, they should develop study habits that involve the reduction and avoidance of distractions (Neal et al., 2013). ...
... The mere presence of the smartphone that has become a dominant competitor for human attention creating a cognitive distraction for adults as was shown with regards to working memory capacity, functional fluid intelligence [36], attentional and cognitive processes [37], and higher positive urgency [38]. ...
Article
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Smartphone use during parent-child interactions is highly prevalent, however, there is a lack of scientific knowledge on how smartphone use during breastfeeding or face-to-face interactions may modulate mothers' attentive responsiveness towards the infant as well as maternal physiological arousal. In the present study, we provide the first evidence for the influence of the smartphone on maternal physiological responses and her attention towards the infant during breastfeeding and face-to-face interactions. Twenty breastfeeding mothers and their infants participated in this lab study during which electrodermal activity, cardio-graph impedance, and gaze patterns were monitored in breastfeeding and face-to-face interactions with three conditions manipulating the level of maternal smartphone involvement. We report that mothers' gaze toward their infants decreased when breastfeeding while using the smartphone compared to face-to-face interaction. Further, we show that greater maternal electrodermal activity and cardiac output were related to longer maternal gaze fixation toward the smartphone during breastfeeding. Finally, results indicate that mothers' smartphone addiction levels were negatively correlated with electrodermal activity during breastfeeding. This study provides an initial basis for much required further research that will explore the influence of smartphone use on maternal biobehavioral responses in this digital age and the consequences for infant cognitive, emotional, and social development.
... ibid.). 7 For current purposes, we will focus on endogenously generated task-unrelated smartphone use to exclude cases in which smartphone notifications (Stothart et al., 2015) or the presence of a smartphone (Thornton et al., 2014) may merely exogenously cue the onset of an episode of inattentive smartphone use. ...
Article
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Smartphone use plays an increasingly important role in our daily lives. Philosophical research that has used first-wave or second-wave theories of extended cognition in order to understand our engagement with digital technologies has focused on the contribution of these technologies to the completion of specific cognitive tasks (e.g., remembering, reasoning, problem-solving, navigation). However, in a considerable number of cases, everyday smartphone use is either task-unrelated or task-free. In psychological research, these cases have been captured by notions such as absent-minded smartphone use (Marty-Dugas et al., 2018) or smartphone-related inattentiveness (Liebherr et al., 2020). Given the prevalence of these cases, we develop a conceptual framework that can accommodate the functional and phenomenological characteristics of task-unrelated or task-free smartphone use. To this end, we will integrate research on second-wave extended cognition with mind-wandering research and introduce the concept of ‘extended mind-wandering’. Elaborating the family resemblances approach to mind-wandering (Seli, Kane, Smallwood, et al., 2018), we will argue that task-unrelated or task-free smartphone use shares many characteristics with mind-wandering. We will suggest that an empirically informed conceptual analysis of cases of extended mind-wandering can enrich current work on digitally extended cognition by specifying the influence of the attention economy on our cognitive dynamics.
... In a study conducted by Froese et al. (2012), it was found that students using their mobile phones in the classroom received 30% less grades than students who did not use their phones. In these similar studies, the presence of mobile phones has been observed to reduce attention (Dietz and Henrich, 2014;Lee et al., 2017;Thornton et al., 2014;Ward et al., 2017). It has been observed that even the notifications received over the phone reduce performance in performing an important task (Stothart et al., 2015). ...
... Interventions investing in the relationship of child-teacher have also demonstrated a greater understanding and reflection on own ability to perceive, understand, and generate emotions (Opiola et al., 2020). Time and distraction management have been associated with social media and smartphone use (Ophir et al., 2009;Koo and Kwon, 2014;Thornton et al., 2014;Stothart et al., 2015;Gazzaley and Rosen, 2016;Duke and Montag, 2017;Felisoni and Godoi, 2018;Lin et al., 2018). Evidence also suggests that emotion regulation has a key role in the addictive process (Marchica et al., 2019). ...
Article
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Rising prevalence of mental disorders among children and adolescents in the United Kingdom has arguably been associated with increased levels of problematic smartphone use and social media use, rendering the need for health promotion at a school level. However, evidence on how teachers may best support media literacy and emotional wellbeing is lacking. The present study explored perceptions of adolescent online engagement and recommendations of how schools could prevent the experience of online harms during adolescence through qualitative interviews with teachers ( N = 9, M age = 39.2 years, SD = 7.74). Results were analysed using thematic analysis and provided the following themes in terms of recommendations for online harms: i) schools in transition and redefining expectations , ii) a modular approach to media and emotional literacy , iii) media and emotional literacy teacher training, and iv ) encourage dialogue and foster psychosocial skills . Psychosocial skills were further analysed as critical components of perceived online harm prevention into the following categories: i) self-control and emotion regulation skills , ii) digital resilience and assertiveness skills , iii) social and emotional intelligence and metacognitive skills to encourage balanced use and emotional health. Findings corroborated the need for an increasing health promotion role of teachers and school counsellors and in the contribution of students’ cognitive and emotional development through skill acquisition. Implications are discussed for the role of educational settings in prevention of online harms, while preserving the significant benefits of digital media for education and social connection, and for the prompt identification and referral of problematic users to adolescent mental health services.
... choosing it, showing that they think that social media prevents them from focusing on education. This is related to Thornton et al. (2014) stated that the mere presence of unused cell phones may be distracting students from producing the best results and the task performance might be decreased due to the appearance of social media during the class. ...
Research
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Like many other researches, the usage of smartphones and social media is no longer a new thing in our society. Many researches have been conducted to study the function, and the users of the social media and smartphone. However, in this research, both researchers focus on the usage of both smartphones and social media. Furthermore, the usage of the smartphones and social media have a strong bond. As what we heard through reading, the usage of social media and smartphones among teenagers/ students are irrepressible. That is why both researchers want to conduct the research, to study the addiction to social media and smartphones among students.
... The same is particularly true for tasks which demand greater attention and cognitive activity. The effects are wide-ranging starting from school performance to work productivity [8]. ...
Article
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Background: It has been well established that any form of addiction does not only have physiological impact but also long term cognitive, emotional and social impact. What is noticeable is however that, addiction has now become associated with many behaviours which are actually part of everyday life and is often termed as Behavioural Addiction. One of them being Smartphone Addiction. Although smartphones have become a necessity with many technological advantages, the rampant increase in use also has effects on our functioning and capacities. The young population being the prominent consumers, such effects are likely to be even more pronounced. Aims: The present study thus aims to assess the cognitive, emotional and social functioning of adolescents having smartphone addiction. Methods: The study compares adolescents having smartphone addiction with those who form the comparative group. A sample of 100 adolescents have been taken into account, belonging to the age range of 12-17 years. The Smartphone Addiction Scale- Short version (SAS-SV) has been used as a screening tool to form the two groups, with 50 participants in each group. The t-test has been chosen as the statistic and statistical analysis has been conducted using SPSS20. 45 Results: Significant differences has been found between the two groups with regards to working memory, Impulsivity and Social desirability. Conclusion: Overall, Smartphone Addiction produces differences in Adolescent’s functioning. Smartphones comes in the way of enriched psychological experience and adjusting to a world outside their screens becomes difficult. Key words: Adolescents, Smartphone Addiction, Cognitive, Emotional, Social Functioning
... In adults it lasts for a few seconds where it becomes long term memory after habituation or rehearsal. Human mem create new memory is "encoding" which is greatly influenced by any cause [13,14] hampers encoding process ther Research proved that human memory starts working from the prenatal period. The short term memory lasts for about . ...
Article
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Introduction: Excessive use of Smartphone may cause distraction limiting the attention in the learning process. To know the effect of Smartphone overuse on short term memory the present study was conducted on 91 medical students. Methods: The students were asked to fill the printed version of SAS SV English version with 3 point scale. They were then tested by visual alphabet test and were asked to write the alphabets in order after they disappear. Observation: The reports were compared and illustrated graphically. The results were plotted separately for boys and girls. Results & Conclusion: The correlation coefficient r value is weakly positive and p value is insignificant. It can be concluded that there is no correlation between smart phone usage and short term memory
... On constate en particulier qu'ils souhaitent majoritairement garder la liberté de se connecter pour réguler leur charge de travail et accéder aux informations qu'ils jugent nécessaires pour leur travail, bien que, dans le même temps, ils soient nombreux à dénoncer la lourdeur de leur charge informationnelle ou à s'inquiéter pour la préservation de leur sphère privée (Boudokhane-Lima & Felio, 2015 ;. En outre, du point de vue du fonctionnement cognitif des personnes faisant un usage extensif de ces technologies, plusieurs auteurs pointent un certain nombre de risques, qui vont d'une réduction de la capacité à prendre des décisions distanciées, due aux sur-sollicitations, à la détérioration de la qualité de la récupération et à des effets sur les capacités attentionnelles (Jauréguiberry, 2014 ;Lachaux, 2015 ;Thornton, Faires, Robbins, & Rollins, 2014 ;Wajcman & Rose, 2011). 2 Le travail présenté ici porte sur cette problématique de la surconnexion au travail via les outils numériques : dans quelle mesure peut-elle être régulée au sein des collectifs de travail et des organisations, et avec quel outil d'intervention ? Il s'inscrit dans le cadre d'une recherche-intervention conduite pendant deux ans en partenariat avec un grand groupe du secteur des télécoms 1 . ...
Article
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E-mail overload, a problem heightened by the combination of the smartphone and messaging, has various negative consequences, particularly in terms of work-life balance. Attempts to find solutions can take the form of company agreements or rely on individual strategies developed by the jobholders themselves. In this article, we explore a third solution, the collective discussion of what the workers themselves feel to be 'problematic'. With the help of a group of occupational physicians in a large company, a debate based on forum-theatre was developed and tested. Based on a thorough analysis of this case study, the article examines how the deployed method enabled a group of people that included managers to build a deep understanding of a complex problem and its possible solutions. The results show the benefits of the forum-theatre framework both for the group of people who wished to raise awareness of the importance of the problem and for the company members who were secondarily challenged by this issue.
... Previous research has found that smartphone use distracted people from work, study, and face-to-face communication (e.g., Dwyer et al., 2018;Thomée et al., 2012). Moreover, frequent distractions from ongoing tasks to smartphone use occupy people's cognitive resources (Thornton et al., 2014), thereby influencing the performance of ongoing tasks. For example, increasing smartphone use disturbs traditional family activities (Roberts & David, 2016); frequent smartphone use in class affects the quality of studying (Thomée et al., 2012) and leads to poor academic performance (Junco & Cotten, 2012); and 75% of participants use smartphones while driving, which increases the risk of accidents (Holland & Rathod, 2013). ...
Article
In the era of technology, smartphone use occupies an important position in our lives. The present research focused on the psychological consequence of frequent smartphone use and possible way to remedy it. We proposed that frequent smartphone use could damage people’s sense of control and in turn trigger nostalgia. Moreover, nostalgia could directly compensate for the low sense of control induced by frequent smartphone use. Five studies ( N = 918) were conducted. Study 1 found through a field study that frequent smartphone use increases nostalgia. Studies 2 and 3 found through 14-day tracking and a laboratory experiment that frequent smartphone use decreased people’s sense of control and then triggered nostalgia. Furthermore, nostalgia could enhance the low sense of control, and it worked by increasing self-esteem (Studies 4 and 5). The findings show the negative impact of frequent smartphone use, and nostalgia is an effective way to remedy it without preventing people from using smartphones.
... In this study, it is not clear whether the facilitative effect of the presence of cell phones on creativity is stronger than the disruptive effect produced by distraction. Although multiple researchers have observed negative effects of cell phone presence [28][29][30][31][32]62,63 , many others have concluded that it is difficult to replicate the effects of a cell phone's presence and that the effects can even be described as weak [64][65][66][67] . It is likely that other potential factors (e.g., task meaningfulness to participants and individual differences in emotion-related impulsivity) can moderate or limit the negative effects such that they are not evident in a wide range of situations. ...
Preprint
In today’s advanced information society, creativity in work is highly valued, and there is growing interest in the kinds of work environments that produce more creative outcomes. Recent researchers have demonstrated that when environmental factors change a worker’s attentional state to a diffused state, the worker has access to more information than usual, which can contribute to creativity. Here, we examined whether manipulating environmental factors (the presence of a cell phone and exposure to natural environment) that could affect such attention states would improve performance on the Remote Associates Task, a measure of creativity. Our results showed that the presence of a cell phone increased creative performance regardless of immersion in natural environment. In contrast, exposure to nature did not facilitate creative performance; instead, feelings of pleasure increased, and frustration decreased. These results suggest that the presence of a cell phone can enhance creativity by influencing workers’ attentional states. The current study provides a meaningful approach to enhancing creativity by modulating attentional states through environmental factors. It also highlights the essential features of environmental factors that can moderate creative abilities.
... It is possible that the presence of the intelligent assistant was distracting and it affected task performance negatively to the extent that time did not make a significant difference. This ties to prior work on technology such as cell phones which showed that its mere presence reduces attention and creates deficits in task performance (see Thornton et al. 2014). ...
Article
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Time and technology permeate the fabric of teamwork across a variety of settings to affect outcomes which have a wide range of consequences. However, there is a limited understanding about the interplay between these factors for teams, especially as applied to artificial intelligence (AI) technology. With the increasing integration of AI into human teams, we need to understand how environmental factors such as time scarcity interact with AI technology to affect team behaviors. To address this gap in the literature, we investigated the interaction between the availability of intelligent technology and time scarcity in teams. Drawing from the theoretical perspective of computers are social actors and extant research on the use of heuristics and human–AI interaction, this study uses behavioral data from 56 teams who participated in a between-subjects 2 (intelligent assistant available × control/no intelligent assistant) × 2 (time scarcity × control/no time scarcity) lab experiment. Results show that teams working under time scarcity used the intelligent assistant more often and underperformed on a creative task compared to teams without the temporal constraints. Further, teams who had an intelligent assistant available to them had fewer interactions between members compared to teams who did not have the technology. Implications for research and applications are discussed.
... In such a case, while no media use behaviour is undertaken, the instance of distraction is clearly linked to an event in the student's digital sphere. Supporting this example, recent studies suggest that, even in the absence of digital events, the mere presence of digital devices may impact their users' concentration (Aguila, 2019;Thornton et al., 2014;Ward et al., 2017). It should be noted that the practical significance of such impacts remains contentious at this stage. ...
Chapter
The chapter investigates digital distraction in college classrooms from the perspective of self-regulation theory. To this end, the chapter commences with a brief analysis of the distinction between behavioural and cognitive shifts in attention, the role of intentionality in digital distraction, and the concept of online vigilance. Thereafter the general premises of self-regulation theory are described, and prominent theoretical models that have emerged in this domain are briefly outlined. Two models deemed particularly applicable to digital distraction are selected from these. The first is the value-based choice model which frames self-regulation as a process of deliberative decision-making which foregoes action taking. The second is the process model which emphasises the strategies individuals employ to prevent goal conflict. Both models are described before being applied as interpretive lenses to analyse key findings from empirical studies of digital distraction.
... 2 Exposure to notifications -even when they go unchecked -has been shown to negatively affect performance on concentration-based tasks (Stothart et al., 2015). Indeed, the mere presence of a cell phone has been shown to negatively impact cognitive functioning (Thornton et al., 2014). Furthermore, phone checking often leads to a number of unrelated in-phone tasks, e.g., checking one's email upon receiving a text (Wilmer et al., 2017). ...
Article
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The attention economy — the market where consumers’ attention is exchanged for goods and services — poses a variety of threats to individuals’ autonomy, which, at minimum, involves the ability to set and pursue ends for oneself. It has been argued that the threat wireless mobile devices pose to autonomy gives rise to a duty to oneself to be a digital minimalist, one whose interactions with digital technologies are intentional such that they do not conflict with their ends. In this paper, we argue that there is a corresponding duty to others to be an attention ecologist, one who promotes digital minimalism in others. Although the moral reasons for being an attention ecologist are similar to those that motivate the duty to oneself, the arguments diverge in important ways. We explore the application of this duty in various domains where we have special obligations to promote autonomy in virtue of the different roles we play in the lives of others, such as parents and teachers. We also discuss the consequences of our arguments for employers, software developers, and policy makers.
... Such an experience is akin to a student attending a classroom lecture with their mobile phone in their pocket-simply knowing that the device is available for leisure use may be enough to elicit the sense of motivational interference and pull the student off task. Such a finding complements other research which indicates that the presence of a mobile phone while engaged in academic tasks can be distracting and subsequently decrease task engagement and learning (Thornton et al., 2014). ...
Chapter
Student use of digital devices for non-class purposes has become ubiquitous in college classrooms across the globe—a phenomenon commonly referred to as digital distraction. The purpose of the chapter is to provide readers with an overview of the prevalence of student digital distraction in college classrooms, an understanding of the factors that contribute to student digital distraction, and a summary of the outcomes experienced by students who succumb to digital distraction during class. The reviewed research indicates that mobile phones and laptop computers are the devices used most for off-task purposes during class. Environmental and person-centered factors appear especially consequential for the motivational interference potential of mobile devices in college classrooms. Unfortunately, student digital distraction has deleterious effects on student learning and the quality of student-instructor rapport in college classrooms. The chapter concludes with descriptions of five strategies college instructors can use to curb student digital distraction in their classrooms.
... In adults it lasts for a few seconds where it becomes long term memory after habituation or rehearsal. Human mem create new memory is "encoding" which is greatly influenced by any cause [13,14] hampers encoding process ther Research proved that human memory starts working from the prenatal period. The short term memory lasts for about . ...
Article
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Introduction: Excessive use of Smartphone may cause distraction limiting the attention in the learning process. To know the
... Furthermore, it is worth noting that this finding can also be used to bridge the gap between technology use, not just technology use, and the emotional nature connection. Recent studies showed that ''mere appearance'' of a mobile phone may be sufficiently distracting to produce diminished attention and deficits in task-performance (Thornton et al., 2014;Ward et al., 2017;Wilmer et al., 2017). It also implied that individuals have become so preoccupied with the use of digital technology that they cannot fully experience what it is like to exist in the natural environment and have become indifferent to nature. ...
Article
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The connection between humans and nature seems to be one of increasing alienation. The use of digital technology, especially its problematic use, may affect this ongoing alienation. This study seeks to investigate how and when problematic technology use is associated with the human-nature connection, especially the emotional connection. Specifically, the study examined the mediating role played by presence and the moderating role played by openness with respect to the association between problematic mobile phone use (PMPU) and aesthetic emotion with nature (AEWN). A sample of 891 participants completed a battery of self-report questionnaires measuring PMPU, AEWN, presence, and openness. The results showed that PMPU was negatively associated with AEWN, and that this association was partially mediated by presence. In addition, openness moderated both the direct relationship between PMPU and AEWN and the indirect relationship between those factors via presence. These two effects were weaker for individuals with higher levels of openness. The current study provides new evidence concerning the negative influence of escalating digital technology use on the emotional connection to nature and contributes to the literature by uncovering the mechanisms underlying this influence.
... In their study focusing on attention and the relationship between social media use and academic achievement, B. A. Barton et al. (2021) found that social media use and attention did not have an effect on academic achievement. Conversely, social media use was determined to have a negative effect on task completion and performance due to frequent task interruption in smartphone usage (Stothart et al., 2015;Thornton et al., 2014). ...
Article
Sustained attention, a fundamental function of attention, also plays an important role in determining the effectiveness of other aspects of attention, such as selective attention, divided attention, and general cognitive capacity. Effective recognition, learning, and memory cannot be achieved in a learning process that does not involve sustained attention. This study, therefore, aims to define the relationships between the sustained attention level of students in higher education and their media and technology usage behaviors. This study of 198 university students was designed using quantitative methodology. A computerized sustained attention test (~65 hours) and the media and technology usage scale were used as data collection tools. According to the findings, there is a significant relationship between sustained attention levels and playing multi-user games. With the data obtained from this research, it is aimed to create a roadmap based on learner characteristics in order to define user profiles and customize designs accordingly.
... Also, the present research just studied the explicit use of smartphones. Given the evidence on the interruptive nature of smartphones even when their users do not touch their digital devices (Thornton et al., 2014;Stothart et al., 2015;Warden et al., 2017), then other forms of distractions that smartphones can cause should be explored in future research. ...
Preprint
Using Experience Sampling Method (ESM), we investigated the impacts of smartphone Interruptions on flow state - the experience of deep absorption to the task at hand- in different activities in students’ daily lives
Article
Background: Smartphone use patterns may predict daily life efficacy and performance improvements in sports. Additionally, personal characteristics may be associated with smartphone overuse. Methods: We investigated the correlation between the temperament and character inventory (TCI) and academic performance using smartphone log data. We hypothesized that the elite and general groups, divided based on academic performance, differed according to the TCI and downloadable smartphone apps (applications). Additionally, we hypothesized a correlation between smartphone app usage patterns and TCI. A total of 151 students provided smartphone log data of the previous four weeks. They also completed the TCI and provided academic records of the previous year. Results: The first and second most frequently used apps by both groups of students were social networking and entertainment, respectively. Elite students scored higher on novelty seeking, reward dependence, persistence, self-directedness, and self-transcendence than general students. In all participants, the usage time of serious apps was correlated with the scores for novelty seeking (r = 0.32, P < 0.007), reward dependence (r = 0.32, P < 0.007), and self-transcendence (r = 0.35, P < 0.006). In the elite group, the usage time of serious apps was correlated with the scores for novelty seeking (r = 0.45, P < 0.001), reward dependence (r = 0.39, P = 0.022), and self-transcendence (r = 0.35, P = 0.031). In the general group, the usage time of serious apps was correlated only with self-transcendence (r = 0.32, P < 0.007). Conclusion: High usage time of serious apps can help sports majors to excel academically. Particularly among sports majors, serious apps are related to activity, the desire for rewards and recognition, and the tendency to transcend themselves.
Article
This paper examines the relationship between smartphone use by drivers and traffic accidents in California between 2001 and 2013. In order to estimate smartphone use, we first show that widespread adoption of modern smartphones began in 2009 after the release of the iPhone 3G and T-Mobile G1. This information is combined with annual 3G coverage maps that are constructed from cellular tower information in a machine learning framework. In a difference-in-differences framework, we estimate the combined effect of smartphone adoption and 3G coverage along quarter-mile road segments. Controlling for census tract population density, road and year fixed effects, Poisson regression results show that there is a statistically significant increase in the traffic accident rate along a road segment when smartphone use becomes possible. Our preferred specification suggests smartphones caused accident rates to increase by 2.9 percent, resulting in 3500 additional accidents per year in California. Event study results rule out the possibility that our smartphone treatment is capturing a trend in the accident rate. The results are robust to a variety of specifications and consistent with individual-level studies showing that cell phone use leads to lower driving quality. The findings also provide guidance for policies aimed at reducing cell phone related accidents and distracted driving.
Book
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The study of child and adolescent learning has generally focused on aspects specifically tied to individual academic performance. However, a new emerging perspective is that any “deficit” and/or disability and conversely any achievement is not the result of a single event, such as an isolated reaction, but it is formed, through numerous biosocial contributing variables, during a child's attempt to adapt to learning conditions and settings. The fit between such adaptations and normative criteria (set by educational and social standards) is often associated with labels such as “fulfillment,” “strengths” “resilience” or “weaknesses,” “risk,” “vulnerability” and “disability.” This Research Topic explored the overlapping challenges and themes related to developmental adaptations (as defined above) in the context of formal and informal settings for learning primarily within childhood and adolescence.
Article
The concept of calm technology envisions that interaction with technology should consume minimal resources and cause as few distractions as possible. The main goal of our study was to compare different forms of embodiment of Voice User Interfaces (VUI) in terms of how much they distract a user from a cognitive task. We used a voice-only system without physical embodiment (voice-only), a physical embodied system without anthropomorphic features (physical embodied), and a social embodied VUI with social cues such as eye movements (social embodied). In addition, we explored the relationship between design features of the VUI and perceived distraction, social presence, and perceived calm. Twenty-four participants carried out four different cognitive tasks with the three different VUI and one round of cognitive tasks without any VUI present. The cognitive tasks were chosen from a serious game (BrainTagger Suit) and included measurements of cognitive speed, working memory, visual memory, and process inhibition. Overall, results indicated the voice-only VUI caused the least distraction, especially for cognitive speed, while slightly showing impairment for visual memory. Social embodied VUI appeared to cause the most distraction across the four cognitive tasks with physical embodied VUI falling in between. Surprisingly, social presence was perceived as highest for the voice-only system which at the same time received the lowest scores for perceived calm. The advantages and disadvantages of each VUI are discussed.
Article
Nomophobia and even simply the presence of smartphones has an impact on attention and performance, likely through the cognitive mechanism of reduced working memory capacity. When a smartphone, a personally relevant stimulus, is present, working memory capacity is utilized leading to a reduction in the ability to inhibit responses and therefore difficulty with complex attentional tasks. With the increase in smartphone ownership, especially among young adults in developing nations and their proliferation in undergraduate classrooms, it becomes important to understand their cognitive impact in this demographic of users. Therefore, this study evaluated the impact of the presence of undergraduate students’ smartphones on their performance on a non-verbal reasoning task, as well as a series of simple to complex attentional tasks. A total of 154 Pakistani undergraduate students participated in this study. Results demonstrated that the presence or absence of the students’ smartphones did not affect fluid non-verbal intelligence or simple attentional tasks. However, the level of fear of being without their smartphone was correlated with non-verbal fluid intelligence and simple attention. Importantly, when the students’ smartphones were present, they experienced difficulty with a more complex attentional task, regardless of the level of nomophobia. Given the need for fluid reasoning and the complex nature of most material covered within the undergraduate classroom context, this finding indicates a need for education about the detrimental nature of smartphone presence on complex attention, as well as the relationship between nomophobia and fluid reasoning and attention. Implications also include a need for institutional policies clarifying appropriate use of smartphones in the classroom.
Article
In a modern world saturated with cellphone-related stimuli, surprisingly little is known about their psychological effects. A small number of previous studies have found global distracting effects of cellphone rings on cognitive performance in undergraduate students. However, moment-to-moment reactions to cellphone sounds have not been investigated, nor have physiological changes that might accompany the cognitive effects. Developmental variations also remain unexamined. Thus, two experiments were conducted to examine the effects of cellphone notification sounds on cognitive performance (i.e., reaction time and accuracy on math problems) and heart rate variability in three age groups: adolescents (mean age: 15 years); young adults (mean age: 20 years); and mid-life adults (mean age: 48 years). Effects were most pronounced in the adolescent group, whose math problem accuracy and reaction time was compromised in response to notification sounds. These compromises were accompanied by increases in heart rate variability.
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Although multitasking with laptops and mobile phones has become endemic on university campuses, we still don’t have adequate understanding of this phenomenon. There is especially a lack of qualitative studies offering detailed and rich description of how and why students multitask. This exploratory study provides a nuanced understanding of in-class multitasking with smartphones and laptops. The study involves sixteen students from a comprehensive university in Hong Kong in in-depth interviews. The results indicate that the university students mainly multitask with mobile phones on activities unrelated to the ongoing class. Lectures and peer presentation are reported as the activities students felt least engaged with. The study has revealed a new type of multitasking behavior, that is learning-related yet off-task. The multitasking behavior also fluctuates on an array of factors associated with motivation, classroom context, and the presence of technology.
Conference Paper
Smartphone use has become ubiquitous among college students, with several reports suggesting that students spend over six hours per day on their devices. However, the potential effects of extended engagement with of smartphones on cognitive ability and academic achievement are not well understood. In this research we compared problematic self-report smartphone use in two groups of undergraduate students (STEM and humanities). The groups had very similar demographics in terms of age and sex, and similar mean GPA scores. However, there was a strong negative association between problematic smartphone use and GPA in the STEM students, which was not seen in the humanities students. Furthermore, this association in the STEM students was found to be related to self-reported executive functions- impulse control and sustained attention. We speculate that problematic smartphone use may cause academic problems disproportionately for STEM students because it reduces cognitive resources, which are particularly important to achieve higher grades in fields such as science technology engineering, and medicine.
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In recent years there has been increasing awareness of the limitations of conventional neuropsychological assessment in terms of predicting functional performance in everyday life. In response to the growing recognition of the need for ecological validity in rehabilitation settings, clinicians have begun to develop methods (e.g. rating scales and behaviour checklists) of assessing the impact of neuropsychological impairments on the everyday behaviour of the patient. However, there have been few attempts to investigate the validity or reliability of such scales. The aims of the present study were: (i) to design a rating scale of attentional behaviour, to be completed by therapists treating traumatically head-injured patients who were receiving a remedial intervention for their attentional deficits; (ii) to examine the scale's correlation with neuropsychological measures of attention; (iii) to assess its internal structure and intra-rater reliability; and (iv) to examine the use of the scale by raters in different contexts and by individual raters over time. The scale developed showed some validity as a measure of attentional behaviour. It was quick and simple to administer. It showed modest, but statistically significant correlations with neuropsychological measures of attention, a high level of internal consistency, and excellent intra-rater reliability. The correlations between scores made by different raters in different contexts were much lower. Possible reasons for this finding are discussed, including the influence of context and the frame of reference of the rater. The importance of exploring and attempting to address potential sources of dissonance, both within and between raters, is emphasised.
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A 2-process theory of human information processing is proposed and applied to detection, search, and attention phenomena. Automatic processing is activation of a learned sequence of elements in long-term memory that is initiated by appropriate inputs and then proceeds automatically--without S control, without stressing the capacity limitations of the system, and without necessarily demanding attention. Controlled processing is a temporary activation of a sequence of elements that can be set up quickly and easily but requires attention, is capacity-limited (usually serial in nature), and is controlled by the S. A series of studies, with approximately 8 Ss, using both reaction time and accuracy measures is presented, which traces these concepts in the form of automatic detection and controlled search through the areas of detection, search, and attention. Results in these areas are shown to arise from common mechanisms. Automatic detection is shown to develop following consistent mapping of stimuli to responses over trials. Controlled search was utilized in varied-mapping paradigms, and in the present studies, it took the form of serial, terminating search. (60 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Objective: Distracted driving has become an important public health concern. However, little is known about the predictors of this health-risking behavior. One overlooked risk factor for distracted driving is the perceived attachment that one feels toward his or her phone. Prior research has suggested that individuals develop bonds toward objects, and qualitative research suggests that the bond between young drivers and their phones can be strong. It follows that individuals who perceive a strong attachment to their phone would be more likely to use it, even when driving. Method: In a nationally representative sample of young drivers (17-28 years), participants (n = 1,006) completed a survey about driving behaviors and phone use. Risk perception surrounding cell phone use while driving and perceived attachment to one's phone were assessed by administering factor-analytically derived scales that were created as part of a larger project. Results: Attachment toward one's phone predicted the proportion of trips in which a participant reported using their cell phone while driving, beyond that accounted for by risk perception and overall phone use. Further, attachment predicted self-reported distracted driving behaviors, such as the use of social media while driving. Conclusions: Attachment to one's phone may be an important but overlooked risk factor for the engagement of potentially health-risking driving behaviors. Understanding that phone attachment may adversely affect driving behaviors has the potential to inform prevention and intervention efforts designed to reduce distracted driving behaviors, especially in young drivers.
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College students participated in a study on the "psychology of note taking" during which they took notes on video content and later completed a multiple-choice test on the material. Researchers assigned 71 participants to either the ringing condition (the video was disrupted by a ringing cell phone) or the control condition (no cell phone rings disrupted the video). The hypothesis that the cell phone rings would impair performance was confirmed. Compared to the control group, participants in the ringing condition performed significantly worse on the disrupted test items and were less likely to include the disrupted information in their notes. Citing empirical evidence of academic impairment in course syllabi may improve regulation of cell phone use in the classroom.
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The aim of our work was to study the accidents and close call situations connected to the use of mobile phones. We have analyzed how the accidents/close call situations are connected to background information, in particular age, gender and self-reported symptoms. The study was carried out as a cross-sectional study by posting the questionnaire to 15,000 working-age Finns. The responses (6121) were analyzed using the logistic regression models. Altogether 13.7% of respondents had close call situations and 2.4% had accidents at leisure, in which the mobile phone had a partial effect, and at work the amounts were 4.5% and 0.4% respectively, during the last 12 months. Essentially, we found that: (1) men tend to have more close calls and accidents while on a mobile phone, (2) younger people tend to have more accidents and close calls while on a mobile phone, but it does not appear to be large enough to warrant intervention, (3) employed people tend to have more problems with mobile phone usage and accidents/close calls, and (4) there was a slight increase in mobile-phone-related accidents/close calls if the respondent also reported sleep disturbances and minor aches and pains. In the future, it is important to take into account and study how symptoms can increase the risk of accidents or close call situations in which a mobile phone has a partial effect.
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This article examines the widespread proposition that the mobile phone dissolves the boundaries that separate work and home, extending the reach of work. It analyses data derived from a purpose-designed survey to study social practices surrounding mobile phone use.The key components of the survey investigated here are a questionnaire and a log of phone calls retrieved from respondents' handsets. Rather than being primarily a tool of work extension, or even a tool that facilitates greater work-family balance, we show that the main purpose of mobile phone calls is to maintain continuing connections with family and friends. Our findings suggest that individuals exert control over the extent to which calls invade their personal time, actively encouraging deeper contacts with intimates.
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In this comment, we contrast different conceptions of mind wandering that were presented in 2 recent theoretical reviews: Smallwood and Schooler (2006) and Watkins (2008). We also introduce a new perspective on the role of executive control in mind wandering by integrating empirical evidence presented in Smallwood and Schooler with 2 theoretical frameworks: Watkins's elaborated control theory and Klinger's (1971, 2009) current concerns theory. In contrast to the Smallwood-Schooler claim that mind wandering recruits executive resources, we argue that mind wandering represents a failure of executive control and that it is dually determined by the presence of automatically generated thoughts in response to environmental and mental cues and the ability of the executive-control system to deal with this interference. We present empirical support for this view from experimental, neuroimaging, and individual-differences research.
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Our research examined the effects of practice on cell-phone-related driver distraction. The driving literature is ambiguous as to whether practice can reduce driver distraction from concurrent cell phone conversation. Drivers reporting either high or low real-world cell phone usage were selected to participate in four 90-min simulated driving sessions on successive days. The research consisted of two phases: a practice phase and a novel transfer phase. Dual-task performance deficits persisted through practice and transfer driving conditions. Moreover, groups reporting high and low real-world experience exhibited similar driving impairments when conversing on a hands-free cell phone. These data indicate that practice is unlikely to eliminate the disruptive effects of concurrent cell phone use on driving. Multiple regulatory agencies have considered, or are currently considering, legislation to restrict in-vehicle cell phone use. Findings reported herein may be useful to inform these public policy decisions.
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Instant messaging (IM) has become one of the most popular forms of computer-mediated communication (CMC) and is especially prevalent on college campuses. Previous research suggests that IM users often multitask while conversing online. To date, no one has yet examined the cognitive effect of concurrent IM use. Participants in the present study (N = 69) completed a reading comprehension task uninterrupted or while concurrently holding an IM conversation. Participants who IMed while performing the reading task took significantly longer to complete the task, indicating that concurrent IM use negatively affects efficiency. Concurrent IM use did not affect reading comprehension scores. Additional analyses revealed that the more time participants reported spending on IM, the lower their reading comprehension scores. Finally, we found that the more time participants reported spending on IM, the lower their self-reported GPA. Implications and future directions are discussed.
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In contrast with R. B. Zajonc's (1965) classic view about social facilitation-inhibition (SFI) effects, it was found that the presence of relatively unpredictable audiences and forced social comparison with a slightly superior coactor both facilitated performance in the Stroop task while inhibiting automatic verbal processing. Not only do these findings reveal that social presence can help inhibit the emission of dominant responses, providing further support for an attentional view of SFI effects, but they also demonstrate the power of social situations over what has been thought to be invariant automatic processing. As such, they are inconsistent with the view reiterated in more than 500 articles on Stroop interference over the past 60 years and suggest that more attention should be paid to the situations in which cognition takes place.
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This research examined the effects of hands-free cell phone conversations on simulated driving. The authors found that these conversations impaired driver's reactions to vehicles braking in front of them. The authors assessed whether this impairment could be attributed to a withdrawal of attention from the visual scene, yielding a form of inattention blindness. Cell phone conversations impaired explicit recognition memory for roadside billboards. Eye-tracking data indicated that this was due to reduced attention to foveal information. This interpretation was bolstered by data showing that cell phone conversations impaired implicit perceptual memory for items presented at fixation. The data suggest that the impairment of driving performance produced by cell phone conversations is mediated, at least in part, by reduced attention to visual inputs.
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The objective of this research was to determine the relative impairment associated with conversing on a cellular telephone while driving. Epidemiological evidence suggests that the relative risk of being in a traffic accident while using a cell phone is similar to the hazard associated with driving with a blood alcohol level at the legal limit. The purpose of this research was to provide a direct comparison of the driving performance of a cell phone driver and a drunk driver in a controlled laboratory setting. We used a high-fidelity driving simulator to compare the performance of cell phone drivers with drivers who were intoxicated from ethanol (i.e., blood alcohol concentration at 0.08% weight/volume). When drivers were conversing on either a handheld or hands-free cell phone, their braking reactions were delayed and they were involved in more traffic accidents than when they were not conversing on a cell phone. By contrast, when drivers were intoxicated from ethanol they exhibited a more aggressive driving style, following closer to the vehicle immediately in front of them and applying more force while braking. When driving conditions and time on task were controlled for, the impairments associated with using a cell phone while driving can be as profound as those associated with driving while drunk. This research may help to provide guidance for regulation addressing driver distraction caused by cell phone conversations.
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The empirical basis for legislation to limit cell phones while driving is addressed. A comprehensive meta-analysis of the effects of cell phones on driving performance was performed. A total of 33 studies collected through 2007 that met inclusion criteria yielded 94 effect size estimates, with a total sample size of approximately 2000 participants. The dependent variables of reaction time, lateral vehicle control, headway and speed and the moderating variables of research setting (i.e., laboratory, simulator, on-road), conversation target (passenger, cell phone) and conversation type (cognitive task, naturalistic) were coded. Reaction time (RT) to events and stimuli while talking produced the largest performance decrements. Handheld and hands-free phones produced similar RT decrements. Overall, a mean increase in RT of .25s was found to all types of phone-related tasks. Observed performance decrements probably underestimate the true behavior of drivers with mobile phones in their own vehicles. In addition, drivers using either phone type do not appreciably compensate by giving greater headway or reducing speed. Tests for moderator effects on RT and speed found no statistically significant effect size differences across laboratory, driving simulation and on-road research settings. The implications of the results for legislation and future research are considered.
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The abstract for this document is available on CSA Illumina.To view the Abstract, click the Abstract button above the document title.
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While the subject of interruptions has received considerable attention among organizational researchers, the pervasive presence of information and communication technologies has not been adequately conceptualized. Here we consider the way knowledge workers interact with these technologies. We present fine-grained data that reveal the crucial role of mediated communication in the fragmentation of the working day. These mediated interactions, which are both frequent and short, have been commonly viewed as interruptions - as if the issue is the frequency of these single, isolated events. In contrast, we argue that knowledge workers inhabit an environment where communication technologies are ubiquitous, presenting simultaneous, multiple and ever-present calls on their attention. Such a framing employs a sociomaterial approach which reveals how contemporary knowledge work is itself a complex entanglement of social practices and the materiality of technical artefacts. Our findings show that employees engage in new work strategies as they negotiate the constant connectivity of communication media.
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A solution is suggested for an old unresolved social psychological problem.
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This longitudinal study describes women's media use during their first year of college and examines associations between media use and academic outcomes. Female students (N = 483, Mage = 18.1 years) reported on their use of 11 media forms and their grade point average, academic behaviors, academic confidence, and problems affecting schoolwork. Allowing for multi-tasking, women reported nearly 12 hours of media use per day; use of texting, music, the Internet, and social networking was heaviest. In general, media use was negatively associated with academic outcomes after controlling for prior academics and demographics. Exceptions were newspaper reading and music listening, which were positively associated with academic outcomes. There were significant indirect effects of magazine reading and social networking on GPA via academic behaviors, confidence, and problems. Results show that female college students are heavy users of new media, and that some forms of media use may adversely impact academic performance.
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Our research examined the effects of hands-free cell-phone conversations on simulated driving. We found that even when participants looked directly at objects in the driving environment, they were less likely to create a durable memory of those objects if they were conversing on a cell phone. This pattern was obtained for objects of both high and low relevance, suggesting that very little semantic analysis of the objects occurs outside the restricted focus of attention. Moreover, in-vehicle conversations do not interfere with driving as much as cell-phone conversations do, because drivers are better able to synchronize the processing demands of driving with in-vehicle conversations than with cell-phone conversations. Together, these data support an inattention-blindness interpretation wherein the disruptive effects of cell-phone conversations on driving are due in large part to the diversion of attention from driving to the phone conversation.
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This chapter discusses the progress and problems of distraction–conflict theory. Distraction–conflict theory suggests that attentional conflict might be the key mediator of drive in research settings. This chapter reviews the research and argues that—despite a good deal of corroborating data for some of the major contentions of distraction–conflict theory—attentional mechanisms may offer a more parsimonious account of social facilitation phenomena than does a drive perspective. Distraction–conflict theory can account post hoc for the findings that indicate that evaluative or competitive pressure heightens social facilitation or impairment; mere presence occasionally produces social facilitation in the absence of evaluative or competitive pressure; social loafing can occur on simple well-learned tasks; and hidden audiences produce social facilitation. The attentional emphasis suggests that distraction may have a variety of effects on cognition, attitude change, and social behavior.
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We investigated the effects of divided attention during walking. Individuals were classified based on whether they were walking while talking on a cell phone, listening to an MP3 player, walking without any electronics, or walking in a pair. In the first study, we found that cell phone users walked more slowly, changed directions more frequently, and were less likely to acknowledge other people than individuals in the other conditions. In the second study, we found that cell phone users were less likely to notice an unusual activity along their walking route (a unicycling clown). Cell phone usage may cause inattentional blindness even during a simple activity that should require few cognitive resources.
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We investigated the effect of short interruptions on performance of a task that required participants to maintain their place in a sequence of steps each with their own performance requirements. Interruptions averaging 4.4 s long tripled the rate of sequence errors on post-interruption trials relative to baseline trials. Interruptions averaging 2.8 s long-about the time to perform a step in the interrupted task-doubled the rate of sequence errors. Nonsequence errors showed no interruption effects, suggesting that global attentional processes were not disrupted. Response latencies showed smaller interruption effects than sequence errors, a difference we interpret in terms of high levels of interference generated by the primary task. The results are consistent with an account in which activation spreading from the focus of attention allows control processes to navigate task-relevant representations and in which momentary interruptions are disruptive because they shift the focus and thereby cut off the flow. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).
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Today's mobile phone is a pervasive tool. It has become such an important aspect of a user's daily life that it has moved from being a mere 'technological object' to a key 'social object'. This paper explores the societal and human implications of advances in mobile technology, and notably the increasingly personalized nature of the mobile device. It argues that human and identity and social interaction have not been untouched by the mobile phenomenon.
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Students often “multitask” with electronic media while doing schoolwork. We examined the effects of one form of media often used in such multitasking, instant messaging (IM). We predicted that students who engaged in IMing while reading a typical academic psychology passage online would take longer to read the passage and would perform more poorly on a test of comprehension of the passage. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three conditions (IM before reading, IM during reading, or no IM). We found that students took significantly longer to read the passage when they IMed during reading (not including time taken to IM) than in other conditions. However, test performance did not differ by condition. Students who are managing busy lives may think they are accomplishing more by multitasking, but our findings suggest they will actually need more time to achieve the same level of performance on an academic task.
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Distraction on cell phones jeopardizes motor-vehicle driver safety, but few studies examine distracted walking. At particular risk are college students, who walk frequently in and near traffic, have increased pedestrian injury rates compared to other age groups, and frequently use cell phones. Using an interactive and immersive virtual environment, two experiments studied the effect of cell phone conversation on distraction of college student pedestrians. In the first, we examined whether pedestrians would display riskier behavior when distracted by a naturalistic cell phone conversation than when undistracted. We also considered whether individual difference factors would moderate the effect of the distraction. In a second experiment, we examined the impact of three forms of distraction on pedestrian safety: (a) engaging in a cell phone conversation, (b) engaging in a cognitively challenging spatial task by phone, and (c) engaging in a cognitively challenging mental arithmetic task by phone. Results revealed that cell phone conversations distracted college pedestrians considerably across all pedestrian safety variables measured, with just one exception. Attention to traffic was not affected by the naturalistic phone conversation in Experiment 1, but was altered by the cognitively-demanding content of some types of conversation in Experiment 2. The content of the conversation did not play a major role in distraction across other variables; both mundane and cognitively complex conversations distracted participants. Moreover, no significant associations between individual difference factors and susceptibility to distraction emerged. Results may inform researchers, policy makers, and pedestrians themselves. Educational campaigns might discourage telephone conversations in pedestrian environments.
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The detrimental effects of a ringing phone on cognitive performance were investigated in four experiments. In Experiments 1 and 2, the effects of different types of sounds (a standard cell phone ring, irrelevant tones and an instrumental song commonly encountered by participants) on performance were examined. In Experiment 1, slower responses were observed in all auditory groups relative to a silence condition, but participants in the ring and song conditions recovered more slowly. In Experiment 2, participants who were warned about the potential for distraction recovered more quickly, suggesting a benefit of this prior knowledge. This investigation continued in a college classroom setting (Experiments 3a and 3b); students were exposed to a ringing cell phone during the lecture. Performance on a surprise quiz revealed low accuracy rates on material presented while the phone was ringing. These findings offer insight into top-down cognitive processes that moderate involuntary orienting responses associated with a common stimulus encountered in the environment.
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This study examined the effects of electronic communication distractions, including cell-phone and texting demands, on true and false recognition, specifically semantically related words presented and not presented on a computer screen. Participants were presented with 24 Deese-Roediger-McDermott (DRM) lists while manipulating the concurrent presence or absence of cell-phone and text-message distractions during study. In the DRM paradigm, participants study lists of semantically related words (e.g., mother, crib, and diaper) linked to a non-presented critical lure (e.g., baby). After studying the lists of words, participants are then requested to recall or recognize previously presented words. Participants often not only demonstrate high remembrance for presented words (true memory: crib), but also recollection for non-presented words (false memory: baby). In the present study, true memory was highest when participants were not presented with any distraction tasks during study of DRM words, but poorer when they were required to complete a cell-phone conversation or text-message task during study. False recognition measures did not statistically vary across distraction conditions. Signal detection analyses showed that participants better discriminated true targets (list items presented during study) from true target controls (items presented during study only) when cell-phone or text-message distractions were absent than when they were present. Response bias did not vary significantly across distraction conditions, as there were no differences in the likelihood that a participant would claim an item as "old" (previously presented) rather than "new" (not previously presented). Results of this study are examined with respect to both activation monitoring and fuzzy trace theories.
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With cellular phones and portable music players becoming a staple in everyday life, questions have arisen regarding the attentional deficits that might occur when such devices are used while performing other tasks. Here, we used a street-crossing task in an immersive virtual environment to test how this sort of divided attention affects pedestrian behavior when crossing a busy street. Thirty-six participants navigated through a series of unsigned intersections by walking on a manual treadmill in a virtual environment. While crossing, participants were undistracted, engaged in a hands free cell phone conversation, or listening to music on an iPod. Pedestrians were less likely to successfully cross the road when conversing on a cell phone than when listening to music, even though they took more time to initiate their crossing when conversing on a cell phone ( approximately 1.5s). This success rate difference was driven largely by failures to cross the road in the allotted trial time period (30s), suggesting that when conversing on a cell phone pedestrians are less likely to recognize and act on crossing opportunities.
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Synopsis The aim of the study is to provide (i) a standardized procedure for a Cancellation Test of Digits, designed to assess in the visual modality selective attention deficits in patients with Alzheimer's disease, and (ii) a detailed analysis of how patients cope with it. Age-, education-, and sex-adjusted normative scores earned by 352 healthy controls are set forth, as well as data yielded by the Digit Cancellation Test in 74 Alzheimer patients, in 26 patients with a CT-assessed frontal lobe lesion and in a group of 24 healthy subjects urged to perform the task with a shortened time-constraint. Findings include discriminant power of Alzheimer patients versus healthy controls, sensitivity to cognitive evolution of the dementing process and analysis of errors. Attention data failed to supply psychometric support for the posterior-to-anterior algorithm of progressive cortical encroachment of Alzheimer's disease suggested by PET-findings. Emphasis is put on methodological aspects of neuropsychological research on Alzheimer patients and on the analysis of processing components of the tests employed. Results are discussed in the light of the relationships between psychometric assessments and related functions, and underlying neuronal degeneration.
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In attempting to summarize recent work on functions of granular prefrontal cortex in primates, including man, and possible homologues of these structures in rodents and carnivores, four question need to be asked, the questions of 'where', 'when', 'what' and 'how'. Progress since the Pennsylvania Symposium has been considerable for questions of 'where' and 'when': localization of symptoms ('where') fields a double gradient (up-down and back-to-front) in monkeys, and a right-left difference in man; analysis of time factors ('when') distinguishes early and late lesions, single and serial removals, or succeeds in recording and stimulating at critical moments during performance. However, problems of 'what' and 'how' are still largely unsolved: we do not yet know what various prefrontal symptoms sigify, in terms of normal function, and are only beginning to see how individual prefrontal neurons act and interact. Advances on these questions are likely if one exploits an extended version of those hypotheses about prefrontal physiology that attribute to these structures neither purely sensory nor purely motor functions but consider them instead as sources of 'corollary discharges' whereby the organism presets its sensory systems for the anticipated consequences of its own action.
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The Trail Making Test (TMT) is primarily a test of motor speed and visual attention. In Trail Making, Part A, the subject's task is to quickly draw lines on a page connecting 25 consecutive numbers. In Part B, the subject must draw the lines alternating between numbers and letters. To determine what makes Part B harder than Part A, variations of the standard Trail Making Test were assessed. Forty college students (20 male, 20 female) were given four forms of the Trail Making Test. The results show that Trail Making, Part B with just numbers took longer to complete than the standard Part A with numbers. Part B is 56 cm longer and has more visually interfering stimuli than Part A. These results indicate that Part B is more difficult than Part A not only because it is a more difficult cognitive task, but also because of its increased demands in motor speed and visual search.
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Dual-task studies assessed the effects of cellular-phone conversations on performance of a simulated driving task. Performance was not disrupted by listening to radio broadcasts or listening to a book on tape. Nor was it disrupted by a continuous shadowing task using a handheld phone, ruling out, in this case, dual-task interpretations associated with holding the phone, listening, or speaking, However significant interference was observed in a word-generation variant of the shadowing task, and this deficit increased with the difficulty of driving. Moreover unconstrained conversations using either a handheld or a hands-free cell phone resulted in a twofold increase in the failure to detect simulated traffic signals and slower reactions to those signals that were detected. We suggest that cellular-phone use disrupts performance by diverting attention to an engaging cognitive context other than the one immediately associated with driving.
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In Australia, youth are the most prolific users of mobile phones, however, there is little research investigating this phenomenon. This paper reports a qualitative exploration of psychological factors relating to mobile phone use amongst Australian youth. 32 participants, aged between 16 and 24 years, took part in focus group discussions. Thematic data analysis focussed on identifying the psychological benefits arising from mobile phone use and whether mobile phone addiction was occurring amongst this group. Mobile phone use was believed to provide numerous benefits to users and is an intrinsic part of most young people's lives. It emerged that some young people are extremely attached to their mobile phone with symptoms of behavioural addiction revealed in participants' descriptions of their mobile phone use. The study provides a solid foundation for further work investigating addictive patterns of mobile phone use amongst youth.
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An experience-sampling study of 124 undergraduates, pretested on complex memory-span tasks, examined the relation between working memory capacity (WMC) and the experience of mind wandering in daily life. Over 7 days, personal digital assistants signaled subjects eight times daily to report immediately whether their thoughts had wandered from their current activity, and to describe their psychological and physical context. WMC moderated the relation between mind wandering and activities' cognitive demand. During challenging activities requiring concentration and effort, higher-WMC subjects maintained on-task thoughts better, and mind-wandered less, than did lower-WMC subjects. The results were therefore consistent with theories of WMC emphasizing the role of executive attention and control processes in determining individual differences and their cognitive consequences.
College Station, TX: Texas A&M Transportation Institute
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