The Impact of Cell Phone Rings on Academic Performance

Zubaidah Alamer

Jul 25, 2019

Paper Assignment



Costly Cell Phones: The Impact of Cell Phone Rings on Academic Performance

The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of cell phone rings on academic performance and attention. The Hypothesis was that noise impacts academic performance negatively; hence impaired performance of the students affected by noise and distractions, which include phone rings. The study was done by involving 71 participants. Two conditions were set; the ringing condition and control condition. In the ringing condition, the participants were to watch video content with cell phone rings as disruptions while the control conditions the participants were to view a video content without interruptions (End, Worthman, Mathews & Wetterau, 2009). After informed consent, 32 participants were assigned to the ringing condition and 39 to the control condition. After the video researchers took notes as participants completed a multi-choice examination to determine their understanding of the actual content of the video. After the test by all the participants, chi-square contingency tests were used to determine the performances. It is observed that participants in the ringing condition performed scored worse than the ones in the control condition. Participants in the ringing condition were not able to record the necessary information from the video content (End, Worthman, Mathews & Wetterau, 2009).

The Hypothesis for the study was supported by the results, which showed clearly that those in a noisy and disrupted environment is less likely to concentrate hence having an impaired academic performance. The results attained from this study suggest that the use of cell phones in classrooms should be banned among college students because however much they may decide to reduce the volume of their phones or use vibration modes, this would still impair performance because the intensity of the noise does not matter what matters is the audibility of the noise. The primary cognitive principles targeted by the researchers in this article are the principal of paying attention and the principal of remembering complex events (End, Worthman, Mathews & Wetterau, 2009). During the study, we can observe that the participants in the ringing condition were unable to pay selective attention to the video content with the disruptions created by the ringing cell (Rolls, Grabenhorst, Margot, da Silva & Velazco, 2008). Besides, they could not remember everything the entire video content because they underwent memory errors caused by the noise in the room. Comment by Microsoft Office User: You need to expand on this and identify different principles. Could students really selectively attend to the video?What other types of attention were examined in this article? You need to select the principles that best match the study.

Positive Effects of Restricting Student Note-Taking in a Capstone Psychology Course: Reducing the Demands of Divided Attention in the classroom

The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of restricting student note-taking in class. The study digs into the traditional culture of note-taking, comparing it with a no-note-taking strategy. The Hypothesis is that the students who take notes perform better than those who do not. The research was carried on senior students who enrolled in a capstone course named Foundations of Modern psychology at Villanova at the end of 2011 and other students who took the same course at the end of 2012 (Long, 2014). There was no difference in their average calculated SAT scores. The 2011 students served as the note-taking students while those of 2012 served as the no note-taking students.  Expansion of all the traditional block outline for all the 16 topics of the course was made and given to the notes-free group and assured there was everything in it hence no need to take notes in class. The note-taking group were also assigned the same course outline but not a detailed one, so they had to take more notes while listening to the lecturer. The course was made identical as possible between the two groups with the same textbooks, powerpoint slides, four writing assignments and identical exams as well as the same grading scale used. Besides, CATs were given to the students, which contained 22 positive statements to be either answered based on 1 to 5 strongly agree and an open-ended section for student comments (Long, 2014). Comment by Microsoft Office User: This is incorrect.

The results were that the mean final grade of students under the standard note-taking format was 83.6% while that of the no note-taking format students was 85.5%. When students were asked whether they would like to register future courses with the no-note taking format or the traditional note-taking format, only 2 of 18 students preferred the note-taking format, one student was undecided while 15 preferred the note-free format in future courses (Long, 2014). The Hypothesis of the study was not supported as the results of the study went contrary to the Hypothesis. According to the results of the study, students should be given all the notes required for the course so that they can only concentrate on the lecture rather than having divided attention of writing notes at the same time listening to the lecture; divided attention undermines the cognitive functioning. Furthermore, the major cognitive principles illustrated by this study are the principle of paying attention and the principle of acquisition and retrieval. The cognitive process works best when one concentrates on a particular activity rather than having divided attention. We observe the performance of the students who only focused on the lecture without writing notes was better than the ones who divided their attention to writing and listening (Long, 2014). Based on acquisition and retrieval; those students who acquired knowledge in a focused, attentive way were able to retrieve the experience more comfortable and apply them on the tests done, leading to excellent performance.   Comment by Microsoft Office User: Again, what type of attention? Just saying attention is not enough. There are many types of attention. Comment by Microsoft Office User: I don’t see how this directly applies without making a stronger link to the study.

The principles being examined in the two summarized articles are the principle of paying attention, the principle of remembering complex events and the principle of acquisition and retrieval. The principle of paying attention indicated that it is difficult to pay attention to two or more activities at the same time, therefore, when one has two sounds in the same room or two things to view at the same time he/she can apply concepts such as selective attention; this is the skill where one focuses on one input or task while ignoring the other stimuli. Selective attention involves skills which include dichotic listening, inhibiting distractors, inattentional blindness and change blindness. The second principle is remembering complex events; an individual may find it difficult to remember some events due to memory errors (Rolls, Grabenhorst, Margot, da Silva & Velazco, 2008). Various issues cause memory errors, which include distractions. In cases of distractions, one finds it challenging to concentrate; therefore, it may be difficult after some time to remember what he did during the distractions. Lastly is the principle of acquisition and retrieval. There is an interconnection between acquisition and retrieval (Lachman, Lachman & Butterfield, 2015). How an individual acquires knowledge or information determines the mode of retrieval. For example, if an individual does not have divided attention when reading, he/she will understand what he is reading deeply hence will be able to retrieve the information in future easily.

I learnedt about the various cognitive principles; what affects our learning abilities, our concentration and memory. I discovered that having divided attention can affect an individual’s performance both in academic and daily life activities. Besides, I was able to understand how I can pay attention when faced with distractions; this is the concept of selective attention. What I will do differently is keeping my cell phone away to improve my attentiveness in class and prevent disruptions.

In future researchers should research on ways to improve retention of knowledge among students. The research should cover what leads to memory loss and how to prevent it. Through this research, students can learn more about how to retain the knowledge they gain in the classroom for future retrieval as well as enable tutors to understand their students. This will help improve the academic performance of students. Comment by Microsoft Office User: This is too general. What can specifically be applied to the classroom? What about retention can be examined/explored?





End, C. M., Worthman, S., Mathews, M. B., & Wetterau, K. (2009). Costly cell phones: The impact of cell phone rings on academic performance. Teaching of Psychology, 37(1), 55-57.

Lachman, R., Lachman, J. L., & Butterfield, E. C. (2015). Cognitive psychology and information processing: An introduction. Psychology Press.

Long, G. M. (2014). Positive effects of restricting student note-taking in a capstone psychology course: Reducing the demands of divided attention in the classroom. Teaching of Psychology, 41(4), 340-344.

Rolls, E. T., Grabenhorst, F., Margot, C., da Silva, M. A., & Velazco, M. I. (2008). Selective attention to affective value alters how the brain processes olfactory stimuli. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 20(10), 1815-1826.

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