The Effects of Cell Phone Distraction on Cognitive Tasks. Yu Lee, Chanda Atkinson, Danielle Hritsko, Kobe Acquaah

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1 The Effects of Cell Phone Distraction on Cognitive Tasks Yu Lee, Chanda Atkinson, Danielle Hritsko, Kobe Acquaah

2 Introduction Purpose: To examine the effects of cell phone distraction on cognitive performance Hypotheses: 1. Participants exposed to the cell phone distraction will make more mistakes on the matching test 2. Participants not exposed to the cell phone distraction will have more correct responses on the matching test

3 Impact of auditory distraction on user performance in a braincomputer interface driven by different mental tasks Elisabeth V.C. Friedrich, Reinhold Schere, Kristina Sonnleitner, Christa Neuper (2011) Purpose: To see if participants can stay focused while using BCI (imagery-based brain computer-interface that presents mental tasks) while there are auditory distractions. Also wanted to see what mental tasks were most affected by auditory distractions Participants: 7 men and 7 women (ages of 20-35) Procedure: Each person was told to perform a mental task for 7 seconds while staying relaxed and motionless. Tasks included: word association, mental subtraction, motor imagery and spatial navigation. There were 3 conditions: no distraction, distraction passive (told to ignore the sound) distraction active (told to click a button every time they heard the noise). Results: Users achieved higher accuracy in passive condition than any other condition

4 Effects of Cell-Phone and Text-Message Distractions on True and False Recognition Theodore S. Smith, M.S. Matthew I Isaak, Christian G. Senette, and Brenton G. Abadie Purpose: To inspect the effects that electronic distractions has on true and false recognition. The distractions came in the form of certain cellphone tasks, and texting. The participants of the study were given 24 DRM (Deese-Roediger- McDermott) lists, each of these lists have words that are categorically related to each other. After the participants finished studying the DRM lists they were given certain tasks to complete on cellular devices. There was also a control group in this experiment that only required the participants to study the words and then recall them to the researcher. The participants that were required to complete a task while recalling the words had higher actions of false memory than those who weren t asked to complete a task. Result- Participants better discriminated true targets when cellphone/text message distractions were absent than when they were present.

5 The distracting effects of a ringing cell phone: An investigation of the laboratory and the classroom setting Jill T. Shelton, Emily M. Elliott, Sharon D. Eaves, Amanda Exner Purpose: To understand how students respond to a cell phone ringing in a classroom setting To evaluate how this common noise affects task performance Hypothesis: The presence of a ringing cell phone will cause students to involuntarily orient their attention to the distraction Researchers conducted 4 separate experiments, but only 3a and 3b applied to this study. Experiment 3a: Hypothesis: A cell phone ringing would negatively affect students performance in a college classroom setting Results: Students were able to remember significantly less information while the cell phone was ringing

6 The distracting effects of a ringing cell phone: An investigation of the laboratory and the classroom setting (Cont d) Experiment 3b: Hypothesis: A cell phone ringing would negatively effect a students performance in a college classroom setting Results: The ringing cell phone disrupted participants memory recall, but to a lesser extent than in experiment 3a Suggesting that while a cell phone ringing is distracting, the behaviors of looking for the cell phone (rustling around through a backpack) may be a large component of the distraction Overall conclusion: Cell phone rings disrupted cognitive performance, and certain factors affected the level of disruption experienced

7 Effects of a cell phone conversation on cognitive processing performances Brett E. Kemker, Julie A.G. Stierwalt, Leonard L. Lapointe, Gary R. Heald Purpose: To examine the effects of a cell phone conversation on a battery of cognitive tests, using both timing (RT) and accuracy (A ) as dependent measures Participants: 42 college-age adult females with normal hearing and cognitive function They were randomly assigned to 2 conditions. In (quiet) condition, a standardized cognitive assessment test was given In the (cell phone) condition, subjects were formulating and responding to specific questions about their travel experiences during the same cognitive assessment Results: It revealed a significant effect on reaction time between the 2 conditions. It supported the notion that there are differential effects of auditory distracters across cognitive levels Simple to difficult cognitive tasks

8 Methods Participants: 40 adults (19-57 years old) 11 males and 29 females Convenience sample Between Subjects Post-test only design IV: Cell phone distraction DV: Number of correct responses Number of mistakes

9

10

11 Procedure Participants were randomly assigned using a coin flip (heads=exp; tails=control) Each participant was handed a sheet of paper which had 30 matching problems They were given a minute and 30 seconds to complete the cognitive task Participants in the experimental condition heard the text message alert every 7 seconds while those in the control heard no distraction

12 Results

13

14 Figure 1. Mean of the number of correct questions by gender and condition

15 Discussion Results of our study supported our first hypothesis which stated that participants exposed to cell phone distractions will make more mistakes on the matching test than participants not exposed The study conducted by Shelton et al. (2009) found similar results when testing memory recall with cell phones as a distracter. When students heard cell phones ring it negatively effected their memory recall. In the study conducted by Smith et al. (2011) Results showed that participants were better at discriminating between true and false targets when cell phone and text messages were distractors. The study conducted by Kemker et. Al. (2009) showed that there are varying effects of auditory distracters according to the level of cognitive task given. In consistent to our study, the matching test was a slightly complex cognitive task, therefore the distracter did have an affect on their performance level. Though the previous studies supported our hypothesis, a study done by Friedrich et al. (2011) on distraction on cognitive tasks had 3 separate conditions: no distraction, passive distractions and active distraction. The passive distraction group was more focused on cognitive tasks than any other group. This shows that though we see noises as distractions from mental tasks, there a personal discrepancies in how people respond to different stimuli.

16 References Friedrich E., Scherer R., Sonnleitner K., & Neuper C. (2011). Impact of auditory distraction on user performance in a brain computer interface driven by different mental tasks. Clinical Neuropsychology, 122, /j.clinph Kemker, B., Stierwalt, J., LaPointe, L., & Heald, G.(2009) Effects of a cell phone conversation on cognitive processing performances. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology, 20, DOI: /jaaa Shelton, J. T., Elliott, E. M., Eaves, S. D., & Exner, A. L. (2009). The distracting effects of a ringing cell phone: An investigation of the laboratory and the classroom setting. Journal Of Environmental Psychology, 29, doi: /j.jenvp Smith, T., Isaak, M., Senette, C.,& Abadie, B. (2011). Effects of cell-phone and text-message distractions on true and false recognition. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 14, DOI: /cyber

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