Thursday, March 14, 2013
Forbes -- If you find yourself irresistibly sucked into other people’s cell phone conversations, don’t beat yourself up too much. There’s a perfectly scientific explanation for your eavesdropping ways. A new study out in the journal PLOS ONE finds that when people are trying to mind their own business and complete a cognitive task, overhearing a cell phone conversation (by accident, of course) can steal away your attention much more than being witness to an old-fashioned, two-sided conversation.
To test the effects of cell phone vs. actual conversations on our distractibility, researchers at the University of San Diego had people work on a task in which they had to try to solve 30 simple or challenging anagrams (for example, ehuos= house). (Full Story)