Bound Volume Number

Volume V

Degree Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-2016

Capstone Advisor

Corey White

Capstone Major


Capstone College

Arts and Science

Audio/Visual Component



education realm

Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories

Social Sciences

Subject Categories



The ability to multi-task—that is the ability to simultaneously complete more than one activity—has become increasingly essential in the high-tech world that we operate in. However, one's capacity to multi-task efficiently has become a concern among researchers, especially in regards to the influence of technology. Cellular phones play a major role in distracting individuals from completing tasks that require sustained attention. A recent study demonstrated that the mere receipt of smart-phone notifications without interaction with the phone itself, can cause significant distraction and error in an assigned task (Stothart and Mitchum, 2015). Proposed results from this study as well as others, could prove worthwhile to explore in the education realm. Technology is being utilized more and more in classrooms to enhance learning, whether through instructor use or student use. However, students’ direct use of their mobile phones for reasons unrelated to learning could be even more distracting than receipt of mobile notifications. The spike in multi-tasking efforts and push to be able to divide one's attention responsibly, especially with learning, complicate the debate of the use technology being a part of multi-tasking or a distraction. If mere mobile phone notifications can result in task disruption, it will be useful to examine to what extent can one efficiently balance direct mobile phone use through texting, and learning, in a classroom environment. Participants will listen to short neutral passages, and answer quiz-like multiple choice questions at the end after texting while listening, or solely listening. Results showed that in this study design, text messaging did not have a negative effect on retaining information.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Included in

Psychology Commons



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