Tell me why you’re texting! Effect of cell phone use on interpersonal interactions
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People frequently use their cell phones while having face-to-face conversations, yet research suggests it affects closeness, empathy, and trust towards others (Przybylski & Weinstein, 2013). People feel annoyed since their companion’s phone use implies that a virtually present individual is more important than they are (Humphreys, 2005). The current investigation focused on texting behavior. Study 1 assessed the frequency of cell phone use in different settings and people’s perceptions of how cell phones are affecting their relationships. Study 2 investigated whether providing an excuse for texting during a conversation mitigates the negative effects associated with texting. A participant conversed with a confederate who was texting and either did not apologize, provided a trivial excuse, or provided a justified excuse for texting. Conversations were videotaped and participants also completed a questionnaire. Participants felt more connected to the confederate when she was not texting. They felt less empathic concern from their partner when she provided a trivial excuse or no excuse for texting. They felt more sympathetic and less annoyed and disrespected when the confederate had a valid excuse for texting. Further research could be beneficial and aid in finding ways to reduce the negative effects typically associated with cell phone use.
Franklin and Marshall College Archives, Undergraduate Honors Thesis 2015
- F&M Theses Collection