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attention cell phone distraction task switching

Cell Phone Notifications Harm Attention: An Exploration of the Factors that Contribute to Distraction

Althea Kaminske , Adam Brown , Anna Aylward , Mckenzie Haller

Recent research has found that the presence of cell phones impairs attention during learning. The present experiment sought to better understand this .

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Recent research has found that the presence of cell phones impairs attention during learning. The present experiment sought to better understand this phenomenon by measuring the effects of cell phone presence, cell phone notifications, and cell phone ownership (participant's or others) on attention. Attention was measured using a Stroop task in a within-subjects design, wherein participants (n = 105) were exposed to five experimental conditions. Cell phone notifications caused distractions, regardless of phone ownership and task difficulty, increasing the amount of time required to complete the task. However, unlike the noted literature above, the researchers did not find that the mere presence of a cell phone contributed to distraction. These results help us better understand which factors actually contribute to distraction and inattention.

Keywords: Attention, cell phone, distraction, task switching.

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