Register for an account


Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.


Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.


Study proves that talking on your cell phone makes you act like an a**hole.

Seriously, Science?By Seriously ScienceApril 9, 2014 3:00 PM


Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

Photo: flickr/photoloni

We know that overhearing someone's cell phone conversation is annoying. But does the act of talking on the phone actually make you more of a jerk? In this study, the authors tested whether people talking on their phone would be less likely to help someone in need -- in this case, a 'confederate' wearing a leg brace who drops a stack of magazines. As you might have guessed, the people on the phone were much less likely to offer any help (9% vs. 72% for people not on the phone). Is this no big deal? A sign of the death of civilized society? Discuss!

A preliminary examination of cell phone use and helping behavior. "Use of a cell phone reduces attention and increases response times. 62 people (30 men, 32 women) were confronted with a confederate wearing a large leg brace, who dropped a stack of magazines and feigned difficulty retrieving them. Among the 33 people who talked on their cell phones only 9% offered their help, whereas among the 29 people who did not talk on their cell phones, 72% offered help. The use of cell phones affects helping behavior." Related content: NCBI ROFL: The effects of wearing a costume on charitable donations.NCBI ROFL: Why overheard cell phone conversations are extra annoying.NCBI ROFL: OMG! ur cell phone is mkng u impotent.

    3 Free Articles Left

    Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.


    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

    Want unlimited access?

    Subscribe today and save 50%


    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In