Effects of Personally Relevant Distractions Versus Generalized Distractions on Physiological Measures and Reading Comprehension
Journal of Advanced Student Sciences (JASS)
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Multitasking is increasingly prominent in the daily life of a college student. Technology plays a vital role in this as students regularly use laptops and cell phones. This study seeks to evaluate any significant differences in physiological responses to personally-relevant and external distractions via cellphones, and the effects of these distractions on reading comprehension. The hypothesized result of this study was that the personally-relevant distraction would have an increased effect on physiological reactions, while also correlating with lower reading comprehension scores. Thirty participants completed four reading comprehension tests, each with a different treatment: no distraction, participant-proctor conversation, personal phone call, and background phone call. During each of these tests, participants’ electrodermal activity, eye movement, and heart rate were measured. The results of this study were not statistically significant, so no conclusion can be drawn regarding whether distractions elicit strong physiological responses in the context of reading comprehension.