Researchers concluded that a person was twice as likely to talk on a mobile, or check for messages, if a companion did the same. The Telegraph reports.
The University of Michigan study discovered that checking a phone created an “alternative outlet” for a person's attention.
It also found that females were more likely to use their mobile than men because it was more “integrated into the daily lives of women”.
Scientists suggested the study’s findings, published in the Human Ethology Bulletin journal, could be linked to “social exclusion”, in which a human feels the need not be left feeling “out of the loop”.
Between 2010 and 2011, researchers sent 12 weekly text messages to 158 pregnant women who were mostly poor, black, uninsured and had previously declined to receive a flu shot.
All expectant mothers received text reminders to take prenatal vitamins and to eat nutritious foods, but half of the women received messages to get vaccinated. Even with the additional encouragement, only around 30 percent in either group received flu shots in the study that appeared in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology.
Improving Influenza Vaccination Rates in Pregnancy Through Text Messaging: A Randomized Controlled Trial - Moniz, Michelle H. MD; Hasley, Steve MD; Meyn, Leslie A. MS; Beigi, Richard H. MD, MSc. Obstetrics & Gynecology
In a study published Wednesday in the journal PLoS One, college students who were asked to complete anagrams while a nearby researcher talked on her cellphone were more irritated and distracted — and far more likely to remember the contents of the conversation — than students who worked on the same puzzles while the same conversation was conducted by two people in the room. Bits reports.
The study is the latest in a growing body of research on why cellphones rank so high on the list of modern irritants. Mounting evidence suggests that the habits encouraged by mobile technology — namely, talking in public to someone who is not there — are tailor made for hijacking the cognitive functions of bystanders.
Mobile technology has provided the Chinese with an opportunity to voice individual and collective popular protests. And with over 1 billion mobile subscribers in China, the voices are heard. A new PhD thesis from the University of Copenhagen presents several case studies on the use of the mobile phone for political participation in Chinese society and points to the concept of guanxi – an individual's network of social relations and obligations– as central to understanding the success of alternative mobile communication in China.
... As early as in 2003, the mobile phone played a vital role when people shared information about the SARS epidemic that the government tried to suppress.
Have you ever seen a friend yawning and instantly felt the need to yawn -- even if you weren't feeling sleepy? New research shows that the act of pulling out a cell phone is also a "contagious" behavior and may jolt someone nearby to pull out his or her mobile device, too. The Huffington Post reports.
In 2011, two researchers at the University of Michigan conducted a study in which they observed pairs of young people roughly between 16 and 25 sitting at tables in dining halls and restaurants in and around campus. They recorded cell phone use in 10-second intervals, noting if one or both people checked a mobile device within each 10-second span, according to the paper published in the Human Ethology Bulletin.
On average, individuals used cell phones during 24 percent of the intervals, validating previous research that checking out portable gadgets is an "addictive" behavior. University of Michigan researchers also found that if "Person A" peeked at his or her phone or made a call during a 10-second interval, "Person B" reached for his or her cell phone 39.5 percent of the time in the following interval.
Good grief... I wonder if they got a grant for this.
Mobile phone habits can change with the weather, a (novel) study has found.
When it is cold, or uncomfortably hot and sticky, people are more likely to make longer calls to close friends and family, scientists have discovered. The Irish Examiner reports.
During unpleasant weather, callers tended to withdraw from their wider network of acquaintances.
Lead researcher Dr Santi Phithakkitnukoon, from the University of Newcastle, said: "The fact that mobile phones have become an indispensable part of many people’s lives means that they provide an opportunity to measure human beha-viour and social dynamics, like never before.
"Our mood, health and how active we are all vary with the weather. "We found that during uncomfortable weather our ‘ringing anyone’ behaviour declined."
Women are twice as likely as men to use emoticons in text messages, according to a new study from Rice University.
The study also confirms previous research that women are more emotionally expressive in nonverbal communication; however, in this research, the authors found that while women may use emoticons more than men, the men used a larger variety of emoticons to express themselves.
The study, "A Longitudinal Study of Emoticon Use in Text Messaging from Smartphones," used smartphone data from men and women over six months and aggregated 124,000 text messages. The participants were given free iPhones to use for the test period but didn¹t know what researchers were investigating.
"We believe that our study represents the first naturalistic and longitudinal study that collects real emoticon use from text messages 'in the wild," said Philip Kortum, assistant professor of psychology at Rice and one of the study's authors.
Texting has become one of the most popular forms of communication in society worldwide. This year alone, it is estimated that 8 trillion text messages will be tapped out.
During a texting campaign, Do Something started to receive texts from troubled teenagers, that ranged from bullying to rape, which led to the organization's work in setting up a texting hotline.
Lublin hopes that, once the system is built, the data gathered from these messages can be used as a census of problems, and can perhaps be used in the same way that Target uses data to figure out if women are pregnant — but to save lives, instead of figuring out what coupons to send.
Just as remarkable as the power of mobility, over everything from love to learning to global development, is how fast it all happened. It is hard to think of any tool, any instrument, any object in history with which so many developed so close a relationship so quickly as we have with our phones. Not the knife or match, the pen or page. Only money comes close—always at hand, don’t leave home without it. But most of us don’t take a wallet to bed with us, don’t reach for it and check it every few minutes, and however useful money is in pursuit of fame, romance, revolution, it is inert compared with a smart phone—which can replace your wallet now anyway.
A typical smart phone has more computing power than Apollo 11 when it landed a man on the moon. In many parts of the world, more people have access to a mobile device than to a toilet or running water; for millions, this is the first phone they’ve ever had.
In the U.S., close to 9 in 10 adults carry a mobile, leaving its marks on body, mind, spirit. There’s a smart-phone gait: the slow sidewalk weave that comes from being lost in conversation rather than looking where you’re going. Thumbs are stronger, attention shorter, temptation everywhere: we can always be, mentally, digitally, someplace other than where we are.
So how do we feel about this? To better understand attitudes about mass mobility, Time, in cooperation with Qualcomm, launched the Time Mobility Poll, a survey of close to 5,000 people of all age groups and income levels in eight countries: the U.S., the U.K., China, India, South Korea, South Africa, Indonesia and Brazil. Even the best survey can be only a snapshot in time, but this is a crisp and textured one—revealing a lot about both where we are now and where the mobile wave is taking us next.
Acision, known for its mobile messaging solutions has conducted a study into the world of the SMS. It’s a technology that is more than twenty years old but it is still one of the most widely used communications methods in the world. TheNextWeb reports.
So why do we love SMS? Acision worked with Internet psychologist Graham Jones to look at survey results from the UK and find out why it’s so popular in the broadband era.
.. It seems that there is a divide in the reasons why we send messages and their content and what we choose as a method for relaying that information.
“People today are also compartmentalising their messages as they all have a specific purpose. Email is being used much less for personal communication and much more for business, whereas social networks tend to remain a medium to message friends and peers, sometimes on a one-to-many basis,” says Jones.
“Text messaging remains a functional communication tool, but still with a personal aspect, which could explain its longevity,” he continues. “You can say things in text you wouldn’t necessarily say on another communication tool.
The preliminary results of our study suggest that people are more likely to disclose sensitive information via text messages than in voice interviews," says Fred Conrad, a cognitive psychologist and Director of the Program in Survey Methodology at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research (ISR).
"This is sort of surprising," says Conrad, "since many people thought that texting would decrease the likelihood of disclosing sensitive information because it creates a persistent, visual record of questions and answers that others might see on your phone and in the cloud."
With text, the researchers also found that people were less likely to engage in 'satisficing' – a survey industry term referring to the common practice of giving good enough, easy answers, like rounding to multiples of 10 in numerical responses, for example. "We believe people give more precise answers via texting because there's just not the time pressure in a largely asynchronous mode like text that there is in phone interviews," says Conrad. "As a result, respondents are able to take longer to arrive at more accurate answers.
For the past four years, Marion Underwood, a developmental psychology professor at the University of Texas-Dallas has essentially wire-tapped 175 Texas teens, capturing every text message, email, photo, and IM sent on Blackberries that she provided to them, creating a rich database that now contains millions of funny, explicit, sexual, and inane messages for academic study. Forbes reports.
Half a million new messages pour into the database every month. This summer, she’s adding Facebook content to the mix as well. The teens sacrificed their privacy for science… and a free smartphone, data plan and unlimited text messaging.
... Profanity (words like damn, piss, f%$* were found in 7% of 43,305 messages sent over two days, in one sample) and sexual content (e.g., boob, horny, erection, orgasm, and other words I shouldn’t list here, were found in 6.6% of the messages in the same sample). “There cannot be that much censoring,” says Underwood. “Some of what I read makes me want to wash my eyes.”
Text messaging is often rapped for promoting reckless driving, but it could be good for people who feel stressed out, isolated or alone. IANSlive reports.
Adrian Aguilera, professor of social welfare, University of California, Berkeley, and clinical psychologist, said his patients report feeling more connected and cared for when they receive text messages asking them to track their moods, reflect on positive interactions, etc.
... The project began in 2010 when Aguilera developed a customized "Short Message Service (SMS)" intervention programme, with the help of his California colleague Ricardo Munoz, according to a California statement.
Aguilera's patients were sent automated text messages prompting them to think and reply about their moods and responses to positive and negative daily interactions.
French professor Christian Guilbault has collected more than 7,500 texts messages from several provinces as part of his Text4Science study and so far has found that the medium isn’t just a blur of opaque abbreviations like ROFL (rolling on floor laughing).
“ ...There’s no reason why in the near future we would see term papers written in text-message language,” Guilbault said. “Because people realize that you just don’t do that, there’s different contexts.”
"I think it will make other people see how creative the younger generations can be and how efficient, because that’s what language is all about,” he said. “It’s a tool to communicate — the more efficient you are, the better.
“If that wasn’t the case we’d all still be speaking like Shakespeare, which we’re not.”
A new study finds that texting in class distracts students. And that effective learners, who earn higher grades, text less during class. Scientific American reports.
Whether in or out of class, almost all American college students send texts rather than emails or instant messages.
University of Pittsburgh undergrads filled out surveys on their in-class texting and learning habits. The researchers discovered that students on average viewed and sent two to three text messages per class period.
Those students who considered themselves very able to direct their own learning process and stay focused in class also texted less frequently. But the students who checked their phones more often rated themselves as more easily distracted, and did less well academically.
While the study showed a correlation between better grades and less text messaging, it did not prove that frequent texting causes bad grades. But it did provide an opportunity for those teachers who confiscate phones from texting students to say—or text—“Told you so.”
Weekly mobile phone text messaging may help patients with HIV adhere to antiretroviral therapy (ART) that is often associated with difficult side effects, according to a study published online March 14 in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. Modern Medecine reports.
High-quality evidence suggests that weekly text messages may enhance ART adherence, so investigators reviewed 2 randomized controlled trials from Kenya including a total of 966 adult patients with HIV. One trial compared short weekly text messages against standard care. The other trial compared short-daily, long-daily, short-weekly, and long-weekly messages against standard care.
Patients receiving standard care in each study received a mobile phone but did not receive any study-related mobile communication.
Those assigned to intervention in the first study were sent brief text messages, such as, “How are you?”, and were expected to respond within 48 hours. In the second study, patients assigned to intervention received daily or weekly short text messages, such as, “This is your reminder,” or daily or weekly long text messages, such as, “This is your reminder. Be strong and courageous. We care about you.”
At 48-52 weeks, combined data from both trials demonstrated that any text messaging was associated with greater ART adherence, weekly texts of any length were associated with adherence, and short weekly text messages were associated with adherence. In the first trial, short weekly texts were also associated with viral load suppression at 52 weeks.
Pew found that 63% of all teens say they exchange text messages every day with people in their lives, including their parents. Also, nearly half of all teens send and receive text messages with friends daily.
Only about one in four U.S. teens currently uses a smartphone, says Pew, in contrast to about 46% of U.S. adults.
Study also finds that 39% of teens never exchange e-mail.
Cell phones keep us socially connected, but new research suggests they actually reduce users’ social consciousness. In fact, the study showed that cell phone use was linked to more selfish behavior. TIME reports.
Researchers from the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business found that after a short period of cell phone use, people were less likely to partake in “prosocial” behavior — actions that are intended to help another person or society — compared with a control group. For example, after using a cell phone, study participants were more likely to turn down volunteer opportunities and were less persistent in completing word problems, even though they knew their answers would provide money for charity.
Why would an innocuous thing like making a cell phone call make a person less giving? The researchers think it has to do with feelings of social connectedness. All humans have a fundamental need to connect with others — but once that need is met, say by using a cell phone, it naturally reduces our inclination to feel empathy or engage in helping behavior toward others. “The cell phone directly evokes feelings of connectivity to others, thereby fulfilling the basic human need to belong,” said study author and marketing professor Rosellina Ferraro in a statement.
The general assumption that text messaging encourages unconstrained language is a myth, says Canadian linguist Joan Lee, who contends that texting has a negative impact on people's linguistic ability to interpret and accept words. Science Agogo reports.
The general assumption that text messaging encourages unconstrained language is a myth, says Canadian linguist Joan Lee, who contends that texting has a negative impact on people's linguistic ability to interpret and accept words.
For her thesis, Lee asked a cohort of university students about their reading habits, including text messaging, and presented them with a range of words both real and fictitious. Grammatical acceptability judgments and media exposure measures (such as the number of text messages received per month and the number of books read in the past year) were collected. Acceptability judgments were obtained for both existing Standard English word forms and other novel or deviant forms.
The findings revealed that those who texted more were less accepting of new words. On the other hand, those who read more traditional print media such as books, magazines, and newspapers were more accepting of the those words.
And the research isn't just talking about annoying social behavior like texting while on a date, or talking on the phone in a movie theater.
The researchers found that after their subjects spent some time using their cell phones, they were less likely to volunteer for community service than those in the control groups who had not used their phones. Cell phone users were also less determined to solve word problems even though they knew that their answers would lead to a monetary donation to charity.
... The study also distinguished its subjects from users of other social media -- Facebook users -- in one of the tests. The authors found that participants felt more connected to others because of their cellphones than because of their Facebook accounts, suggesting that this difference in connectedness was the underlying driver of the observed phenomenon.
Here's a new one. Too much texting makes teens shallow. According to a new study, young people who text frequently focus on wealth and image; less on moral or spiritual goals. WebMD reports.
Teens and young adults who text frequently -- such as more than 300 text messages a day -- may be risking more than sore thumbs, according to a new study.
"Heavy texters do seem to be a little more materialistic and less concerned about inward growth," says Paul Trapnell, PhD, associate professor of psychology at the University of Winnipeg in Canada.
Researchers surveyed more than 2,200 college psychology class students about their texting frequency. They were ages 18 to 22. Data were collected from 2007 through 2011. These findings were presented at a medical conference. They should be considered preliminary as they have not yet undergone the "peer review" process, in which outside experts scrutinize the data prior to publication in a medical journal.
Numerous studies have shown that there is a strong link between mobile phones and economic growth. The theory here is that mobile phones encourage improved access to educational opportunities, health resources, business and employment opportunities. Another tie into this theory is that it will be more women accessing mobile phones that will encourage this economic growth. SocialEarth reports via @mobileactive.
Why? Studies have shown that mobile phones encourage a more secure, connected and productive life.
Security: Studies have shown that an overwhelming majority of women feel safer because of their mobile phones globally.
Connectedness: 85% of women report feeling more independent because of their mobile phones. With access to hospitals and other information for their daily lives, at the click of a button, women can be connected to the rest of the world from the most rural regions.
Productivity: From India to Senegal to Kosovo, women are beginning to realize that the power of mobile phones unlocks economic opportunities in their regions. According to one study regarding women’s opinions on mobile phones, more than half agree that mobile phones encourage additional income.
However, there are certainly hurdles to women owning mobile phones in developing countries. These hurdles include the costs of handsets and service, a lack of understanding as to why they need mobile phones, fear of not being able to learn how to use the technology, and cultural issues relating to the stigma of a women’s role.
Their study compares the level of deceit people are prepared to use in a variety of media, from text messages to face-to-face interactions.
“People are communicating using a growing range of methods, from Twitter to Skype,” says Sauder Assoc. Prof. Ronald Cenfetelli, a co-author on the paper. “As new platforms of communication come online, it’s important to know the risks that may be involved.”
"Our results confirm that the more anonymous the technology allows a person to be in a communications exchange, the more likely they are to become morally lax,” says Sauder Prof. Karl Aquino, also one of the co-authors.
The study involved 170 students performing mock stock transactions in one of four ways: face-to-face, or by video, audio or text chatting. Researchers promised cash awards of up to $50 to increase participants’ involvement in the role play. “Brokers” were promised increased cash rewards for more stock sales, while “buyers” were told their cash reward would depend on the yet-to-be-determined value of the stock.
The brokers were given inside knowledge that the stock was rigged to lose half of its value. Buyers were only informed of this fact after the mock sales transaction and were asked to report whether the brokers had employed deceit to sell their stock.
The authors then analyzed which forms of communication led to more deception. They found that buyers who received information via text messages were 95 per cent more likely to report deception than if they had interacted via video, 31 per cent more likely to report deception when compared to face-to-face, and 18 per cent more likely if the interaction was via audio chat.
Their results suggest that communicating by video heightened the brokers’ awareness of being scrutinized, which suppressed their impulse to use dishonest sales tactics – the so-called “spotlight” effect.
“With this in mind, people shopping online using websites like eBay should consider asking sellers to talk over Skype to ensure they are getting information in the most trustworthy way possible,” says Cenfetelli, who studies human-computer interaction in Sauder’s Management Information Systems division.
The study also reveals that people deceived by “leaner” media, such as text messages are more angered than those misled by “richer” media, such as video chat.
The lesson for business, says Cenfetelli, is that video conferencing or in-person interactions may be preferable to text-based communication if the company is concerned about how customers may react to the given information.
The study, led by Asst. Prof. David Jingjun Xu of Wichita State University, will appear in the March edition of the Journal of Business Ethics.
For further information contact
Manager, Public and Media Relations Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia
E-mail: Andrew Riley
Smartphones, along with social networks and text messaging, have become the expression of liberation from parents that getting a driver’s license and hitting the open road once was. Bits reports.
In a survey to be published later this year, Gartner found that 46 percent of people 18 to 24 would choose access to the Internet over access to their own car. Only 15 percent of the baby boom generation would say that, the survey found. “The iPhone is the Ford Mustang of today,” Thilo Koslowski, lead automotive analyst for Gartner said.
Sheryl Connelly of Ford has an interesting explanation for the behavioral shift. Driving a car limits the valuable time teenagers could use to text-message with their friends or update their social networks, she said. Although public transportation or waiting for a ride from the parents is slower, it gives a teenager more time to engage with friends on a mobile phone.
... Turkle's fear is that the suggestion of emotional intimacy supplied by our ever-ready, ever-present devices is becoming, for too many, an acceptable or even preferred substitute for the real thing.
The constant contact provided by our cell phones gives, she said, "the illusion of companionship without the demands of friendship." And she described people, younger and older alike, who said they would "rather text than talk."
... Turkle bases her thinking this not just on ivory-tower theorizing, but on field research, on watching families fail to interact with one another, on seeing people in nature looking not at the dunes or the ocean, but at their BlackBerries.