#219 – Technology Distracts

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Based on research by Rosen, Larry D., Carrier, L. Mark, and Cheever, Nancy A. (2013) written by Mara Rowcliffe, MS.

Do you find yourself easily distracted by the technology around you?

Psychology researchers examined how electronic communication impacts academic learning. They observed 260 middle school, high school, and university students while studying for 15 minutes in their own home. The researchers noted what technology was present in students’ immediate surroundings. They conducted a minute-by-minute assessment of on-task behavior, off task technology use, and what computer windows were opened during studying. Each individual also completed a questionnaire evaluating their study strategies, task-switching preference, social networking use and grade point average.

Results showed that individuals averaged less than 6 minutes on task before switching their attention. This was most often due to technological distractions such as social media and texting. In addition, participants who accessed Facebook had lower GPAs than those who avoided it. Students who used study strategies frequently were more likely to stay on task than others.

In order to stay on task, limit your distractions. Avoid surfing the Internet. Put your cell phone away!

References:

Rosen, L. D., Carrier, L. M., & Cheever, N. A. (2013). Facebook and texting made me do it: Media-induced task-switching while studying. Computers in Human Behavior, 29(3), 948-958.

 

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