Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

People Talking On Their Cell Phones Miss The Darnedest Things

Did you see that?"We investigated the effects of divided attention during walking," write researchers at Western Washington University in a study to be published in December. "Individuals were classified based on whether they were walking while talking on a cell phone, listening to an MP3 player, walking without any electronics or walking in a pair. In the first study, we found that cell phone users walked more slowly, changed directions more frequently, and were less likely to acknowledge other people than individuals in the other conditions. In the second study, we found that cell phone users were less likely to notice an unusual activity along their walking route (a unicycling clown). Cell phone usage may cause inattentional blindness even during a simple activity that should require few cognitive resources."

13 Comments / Post A Comment

belltolls (#184)

Oh, the cell phone users see; they are just "ignoring."

brent_cox (#40)

Plus also the ear cancer!

Maevemealone (#968)

The clown I mowed down yesterday was just staring at his keychain, who's counting the key chain starers?

First: Clowns give me the heebeejeebees. So missing this clown is a net good.

Second: I am thoroughly convinced that half the reason people on unicycles don't fall over is that they are unaware of how gravity works. I, on the other hand, know how gravity works, and just radiating that sort of "Dude, you are so gonna fall" brainwave in their vicinity has to be dangerous for them.

Bittersweet (#765)

As someone who dislikes both clowns and unicyclers, I'd be interested to see if that kind of brainwave works on Scary Purple Man in the picture.

HiredGoons (#603)

"Hold on one sec…"

*puts up 'silence' finger.

"Sorry, some researcher was yapping in my ear. What did he say!?"

Neopythia (#353)

In NYC it takes more than a unicycling clown to qualify as "unusual activity".

HiredGoons (#603)

this statement is true…

johnpseudonym (#1,452)

Can you see me now?

adriana (#1,654)

Hey! That's my alma mater! Yay, WWU!
And boy let me tell you, that campus is the ideal place for such a study.

belltolls (#184)

I hope their next study will explain why it rains up here all the f'n time.

Note for increasing money supply for Holiday gift purchasing: dress up as a clown and mug people talking on cell phones.

What if the subjects phoned the unicycling clown? Would they forget they're on the phone? Science!

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