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Why cellphone discussions drive us crazy.

If you've ever suspected that overheard cellphone conversations are more distracting than other types of conversations, you're on to something.

Evidence is mounting that cellphone conversations are much more annoying than other types of overheard conversations or ambient noise. Why? Because our brains expend energy trying to guess what words will be spoken next.

A Cornel] University study on cellphone conversations, in which people can only hear half of a dialogue (dubbed "halfalogues"), showed that performance on two computer tasks decreased significantly" after subjects overheard halfalogues. That wasn't the case with subjects exposed to complete silence, or standard dialogues or monologues. More recent research showed that people remembered more words from an overheard cellphone conversation than they did from an overheard two-person discussion. Researchers concluded that "people are more attentive to cellphone conversations than two-sided conversations."


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Title Annotation:SHORT Takes
Author:Hamaker, Christian
Publication:Rural Telecommunications
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2013
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