'Catchy' mobile phone ringtones make you more stupid
Thursday, 16 February 2012 09:28
Latest IT & Technology News, London 16.02.2012
Keep your mobile phone in silent mode if you are trying to solve a tricky problem.
Researchers say mobile phone ringtones â€“ and especially catchy songs â€“ drain your brain power.
Scientists at Washington University in St Louis found that students scored up to 25 per cent less on tests after being exposed to ringing mobile phones.
The worsts results were posted after hearing a song they knew and liked.
"Many of us consider a mobile phone ringing in a public place to be an annoying disruption, but this study confirms that these nuisance noises also have real-life impacts," the Daily Mail quoted lead author Jill Shelton as saying.
"These seemingly innocuous events are not only a distraction, but they have a real influence on learning," she stated.
The study included an experiment in which Shelton posed as a student seated in the middle of a crowded undergraduate psychology lecture at Louisiana State University and allowed a mobile phone in her handbag to continue ringing loudly for about 30 seconds.
Students exposed to a briefly ringing cell phone scored 25 per cent worse on a test of material presented before the distraction.
They scored even worse when Shelton added to the disturbance by frantically searching her handbag as if attempting to find and silence her device.
Perhaps most surprising, the study found that unexpected exposure to snippets of a popular song, such as those often used as ringtones, can have an even-longer-lasting negative impact on attention.
Findings suggest the potential for distraction is greater if the ring tone has some special meaning or personal relevance, such as a custom tone that identifies a call as coming from a parent, close friend or boss at work.
The study was published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology and highlighted this week in Men's Health. (ANI)