Study: Cell Phones Satisfy Social Cravings, Stifle Prosocial Behavior

A study described in a working paper titled, The Effect of Mobile Phone Use on Prosocial Behavior, links the use of cell phones to selfish behavior. In the study, “prosocial behavior” was defined as “action intended to benefit another person or society as a whole.”

The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Maryland‘s Robert H. Smith School of Business. The researchers found that following a brief period of interaction with an actual or imagined cell phone, participants’ prosocial behaviors were diminished.

…after a short period of cellphone use the subjects were less inclined to volunteer for a community service activity when asked, compared to the control-group counterparts. The cell phone users were also less persistent in solving word problems – even though they knew their answers would translate to a monetary donation to charity.”

                          — Announcement, Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland

Learn more at http://newsdesk.umd.edu/uniini/release.cfm?ArticleID=2615

© Tony Leininger and IT for Good 2012. See sidebar for full copyright notice.

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