WASINGTON: Just the ring of a cell phone can pose a dangerous distraction for drivers, especially when it comes in a classroom setting or includes a familiar song as a ringtone, says a new study.
"In any setting where people are trying to acquire knowledge and trying to retain that information in some way, a distraction that may just seem like a common annoyance to people may have a really disruptive effect on their later retention of that information," said the study's lead author, Jill Shelton, a postdoctoral psychology fellow in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis.
The study in the Journal of Environmental Psychology includes an experiment in which Shelton poses as a student seated in the middle of a crowded undergraduate psychology lecture and allows a cell phone in her handbag to continue ringing loudly for about 30 seconds.
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