Study proves that talking on your cell phone makes you act like an a**hole.

By Seriously Science | April 9, 2014 6:00 am
Photo: flickr/photoloni

Photo: flickr/photoloni

We know that overhearing someone’s cell phone conversation is annoying. But does the act of talking on the phone actually make you more of a jerk? In this study, the authors tested whether people talking on their phone would be less likely to help someone in need — in this case, a ‘confederate’ wearing a leg brace who drops a stack of magazines. As you might have guessed, the people on the phone were much less likely to offer any help (9% vs. 72% for people not on the phone). Is this no big deal?  A sign of the death of civilized society? Discuss!

A preliminary examination of cell phone use and helping behavior.

“Use of a cell phone reduces attention and increases response times. 62 people (30 men, 32 women) were confronted with a confederate wearing a large leg brace, who dropped a stack of magazines and feigned difficulty retrieving them. Among the 33 people who talked on their cell phones only 9% offered their help, whereas among the 29 people who did not talk on their cell phones, 72% offered help. The use of cell phones affects helping behavior.”

Related content:
NCBI ROFL: The effects of wearing a costume on charitable donations.
NCBI ROFL: Why overheard cell phone conversations are extra annoying.
NCBI ROFL: OMG! ur cell phone is mkng u impotent.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: duh, feelings shmeelings
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Seriously, Science?, formerly known as NCBI ROFL, is the brainchild of two prone-to-distraction biologists. We highlight the funniest, oddest, and just plain craziest research from the PubMed research database and beyond. Because nobody said serious science couldn't be silly!
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