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Students Contemplate Cell Phone Use at Psi Beta and the Psychology Club Guest Lecture Series

March, 2019
  • Dr. Peter Frost (center) discusses cell phone usage and its effects with students.
    Dr. Peter Frost (center) discusses cell phone usage and its effects with students.

Smartphone usage – do we know the real story? A 2018 Pew Research study found that 77 percent of all U.S. adults have smartphones and that percentage rises to 94 percent for people between the ages of 18- 29. Do these statistics make you concerned? Are you worried your smartphone is making you less smart, or that there are potential lingering effects of Smartphone use on cognition?

A talk on March 8, by Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) Professor of Psychology, Dr. Peter Frost, dispelled some of the concerns associated by smartphone use. Dr. Frost and two of his research assistants explained their findings from a study of 105 students from SNHU that tested some of the reports that are in the media about cell phone use.

Dr. Frost asked those in the audience how long they thought they were on their phones each day. Answers ranged from one to two hours, to even four hours. In reality, Dr. Frost said the average was 5.5 hours, significantly higher than the students predicted. Other findings from Dr. Frost’s study had some interesting results that didn’t always line up with other published articles. One of the most interesting findings in Dr. Frost’s study was that there was no strong, lasting effects in cognition due to excessive cell phone use. The findings suggested it might be the fear of technology itself that is driving some of the articles and concerns. He cited the historical concerns man has had over new technology from calculators and email and even books when they were first made.