EXAMPLES OF STUDIES ON THE IMPACT OF CELL PHONES ON ACADEMICS

I. STUDIES SHOWING CELL PHONES’ NEGATIVE IMPACT ON ACADEMICS WHEN USED IN CLASS

STUDY TITLE: THE IMPACT OF MOBILE PHONE USAGE ON STUDENT LEARNING

MAIN FINDING: College students who were not using their cell phones wrote down 62% more information in their notes, and scored a letter grade and a half higher on a multiple choice test than those students who were actively using their phones.

Ref: Kuznekoff et al. (2013) Communication Education v. 62, 233-252 http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03634523.2013.767917

STUDY TITLE: NON-ACADEMIC INTERNET USE IN THE CLASSROOM IS NEGATIVELY RELATED TO CLASSROOM LEARNING REGARDLESS OF INTELLECTUAL ABILITY

MAIN FINDING: Students in an introductory psychology class were surveyed three times during the 15 week course on their use of portable devices in the classroom.

Note:  Students were using portable devices, many of the times these were indeed cell phones

Ref: Ravizza et al (2014), Computers & Education v.78, 109-114 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360131514001298

STUDY TITLE:  AN EMPIRICAL EXAMINATION OF THE EDUCATIONAL IMPACT OF TEXT MESSAGE-INDUCED TASK SWITCHING IN THE CLASSROOM: EDUCATIONAL IMPLICATIONS AND STRATEGIES TO ENHANCE LEARNING

MAIN FINDING: While college students watched a videotaped lecture they were randomly interrupted by text messages. Based on the number of texts sent and received, three “texting interruption” groups were defined as Low, Moderate and High. A recall test measured the impact of texting on memory. The high texting group scored significantly worse (10.6% lower) than the low texting interruption group.

Ref: Rosen, et al. (2011)  Psicologia Educativa,163-177  https://www.psychologytoday.com/sites/default/files/attachments/40095/anempiricalexaminationoftheeducationalimpactoftextmessage-inducedtaskswitchingintheclassroom-educati.pdf

STUDY TITLE: TEXTING AS A DISTRACTION

MAIN FINDING:  Compared correct answers on a lecture quiz between students who were randomly assigned to text message during a lecture and those who were not. Those who text messaged throughout the lecture scored significantly lower on the quiz.

Ref: Dietz, Stephanie & Henrich, Christopher (2014) Computers and Human Behavior v. 36, 163-167 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0747563214001678

STUDY TITLE: AN INTRODUCTION TO MULTITASKING AND TEXTING: PREVALENCE AND IMPACT ON GRADES AND GPA IN MARKETING CLASSES.

Ref: Clayson & Haley, Clayson, D. E., & Haley, D. A. (2013). Journal of Marketing Education, v. 35, Issue 1
http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0273475312467339

STUDY TITLE: THE EFFECTS OF CELL PHONE USE AND EMOTION-REGULATION STYLE ON COLLEGE STUDENTS LEARNING

Ref: Lee, et al. (2017)  Applied Cognitive Psychology, 360-366
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/acp.3323/abstract

STUDY TITLE: EXAMINING THE IMPACT OF OFF-TASK MULTI-TASKING WITH TECHNOLOGY ON REAL-TIME CLASSROOM LEARNING.

Ref: Wood et al.  (2012) Computers & Education, 58(1), 365–374 https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360131511002077

II. STUDIES SHOWING CELL PHONES’ NEGATIVE IMPACT ON ACADEMICS WHEN PRESENT, BUT NOT USED, IN CLASS

STUDY TITLE:  BRAIN DRAIN: THE MERE PRESENCE OF ONE’S SMART PHONE REDUCES AVAILABLE COGNITIVE CAPACITY

MAIN FINDING: Participants turned off their phones. While they performed memory tasks, some could keep their phone with them and some had to put it in the other room. Those who had the phone with them did significantly worse. The attention and energy it takes to not check a phone seems to cause "brain drain."

Note: This study was in Dr. Ruston’s Op-Ed in CNN.com

Ref: Ward et al. (2017) JACR, 140-154
http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/abs/10.1086/691462

STUDY TITLE: THE MERE PRESENCE OF A CELL PHONE MAY BE DISTRACTING:IMPLICATIONS FOR ATTENTION AND TASK PERFORMANCE

MAIN FINDING: College students did various cognitive tests with phones present or not. The presence of phones negatively impacted attention and task performance.

Ref: Thorton et al. (2014) Social Psychology v. 45, 479-488
http://psycnet.apa.org/record/2014-52302-001

ADDITIONAL STUDIES WITH SIMILAR FINDINGS

STUDY TITLE: THE EXTENDED ISELF: THE IMPACT OF IPHONE SEPARATION ON COGNITION, EMOTION, AND PHYSIOLOGY.

Ref: Clayton, R. B., Leshner, G. and Almond, A. (2015) Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication v. 20, 119–135
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jcc4.12109/full

STUDY TITLE: THE ATTENTIONAL COST OF RECEIVING A CELL PHONE NOTIFICATION.

Ref: Stothart, C., Mitchum, A., Yehnert, C. (2015) Journal of Experimental Psychology Human Perception and Performance. v. 41, 893-897 
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26121498

 

III. TEACHERS VIEWS ON HOW CELL PHONES USED IN THE CLASSROOM ARE NEGATIVELY IMPACTING STUDENTS

STUDY TITLE:  GROWING UP DIGITAL ALBERTA

MAIN FINDING: Survey of 2,300 Canadian  teachers. 67% reported that they believe that the number of students negatively distracted by technologies in class is growing and 75% reported  that the attention spans of the students has decreased.

Ref: A collaborative research project by Harvard Medical School Teaching Hospital, the Center on Media and Child Health, Boston Children’s Hospital, University of Alberta, and the Alberta Teachers’ Association (2016)

IV. STUDENTS OFTEN HAVE THE FALSE BELIEF THAT CELL PHONE USE IN CLASS DOES NOT IMPACT THEIR LEARNING  

STUDY TITLE: NON-ACADEMIC INTERNET USE IN THE CLASSROOM IS NEGATIVELY RELATED TO CLASSROOM LEARNING REGARDLESS OF INTELLECTUAL ABILITY

MAIN FINDING: Introductory psychology students were asked about the frequency and duration of their use of portable electronic devices and how it affected their learning. Higher rates of internet use were found to be linked to lower test grades.

Ref: Ravizza, Susan M., Hambrick, David Z. & Fenn, Kimberly M. (2014), Computers & Education v.78,
109-114
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360131514001298

STUDY TITLE: AN INTRODUCTION TO MULTITASKING AND TEXTING: PREVALENCE AND IMPACT ON GRADES AND GPA IN MARKETING CLASSES.

MAIN FINDING: Marketing students from two separate universities surveyed said they received an average of 37 texts per day and wrote about 16. Students said they believed they were able to pay attention to the professor and manage writing and receiving texts, however those who did text while in class received lower grades.

Ref: Clayson, D. E., & Haley, D. A. (2013). Journal of Marketing Education, v. 35, Issue 1
http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0273475312467339

STUDY TITLE: AN EMPIRICAL EXAMINATION OF THE EDUCATIONAL IMPACT OF TEXT MESSAGE-INDUCED TASK SWITCHING IN THE CLASSROOM: EDUCATIONAL IMPLICATIONS AND STRATEGIES TO ENHANCE LEARNING

MAIN FINDING: Participants received texts that demanded a response while watching a 30-minute videotaped lecture. Participants split into four classrooms were randomly to different groups: receiving no text messages, receiving four text messages or receiving eight text messages. Participants were then given a test on the content of the lecture. Those who received the most text messages scored the worst.

Ref: Rosen, L. D., Lim, A. F., Carrier, L. M., & Cheever, N. A. (2011). Psicología Educativa, V.17, no. 2, 163-177
 https://www.psychologytoday.com/sites/default/files/attachments/40095/anempiricalexaminationoftheeducationalimpactoftextmessage-inducedtaskswitchingintheclassroom-educati.pdf