There’s Something About Hearing Other People Talk On A Cell Phone
What is it about listening to someone talk on a cell phone that makes us crazy? Researchers are uncertain, but they have no doubt that hearing one side of a phone conversation is much more annoying than hearing both sides. HealthDay reports that researchers at the University of San Diego had 150 undergraduate students complete a word-play reading exercise while they were exposed to one of two types of live conversation: either an in-person exchange between two people or a one-sided cellphone call. When the conversations ended, the students were asked to complete memory recall tests and another test that measured the degree to which they were distracted. The researchers found that those who had overheard the one-sided conversations were “significantly” more distracted than those who heard two-sided conversations. Those who heard one-sided calls also remembered more of what was said on the calls. What have we learned? The researchers conclude that it’s harder for us to tune out one-sided conversations than two-sided conversations. To learn why, as they say, more research is needed.