Monday December 16, 2019

Modern technology bad for brain: Phone notifications kill concentration says study

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New York: Mobile phone notifications can ruin your focus even if you do not actually pick up the phone to respond to them, a study says.

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The Florida State University study found that alerts can break concentration, whether or not immediate action is taken on them, Digital Trends reported.

“Although these notifications are generally short in duration, they can prompt task-irrelevant thoughts, or mind wandering, which has been shown to damage task performance,” lead study author Cary Stothart was quoted as saying.

“We found that notifications alone significantly disrupted performance on an attention-demanding task, even when participants did not directly interact with a mobile device during the task,” Stothart said.

Study authors, Ainsley Mitchum, and Courtney Yehnert ran volunteers through an attention-monitoring test to reach their conclusions.

Participants were found to perform significantly worse on a task when their phones were buzzing or ringing. In fact, they were three times more likely to make mistakes.

The level of distraction was comparable to actually answering a phone call or writing a text message.

“If you really want to keep your mind on a task, just ignoring your phone notifications is not enough. You need to disable them altogether,” the researchers said.

An earlier study from Rice University found that phones can be detrimental to learning process.

The research said while users initially believed the mobile devices would improve their ability to perform well with homework and tests and ultimately get better grades, the opposite was reported at the end of the study.

(IANS)

Next Story

Browser Notifications Scams Tripled in First 3 Quarters: Study

"Push notifications are a very useful tool for users that help them stay on top of important things that interest them. Yet, as with anything on the Internet, users have to remain attentive and cautious when interacting with pop-ups and only allow push notifications if they are completely sure the alerts are useful and come from trusted sources," Ovchinnikov added

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Browser push notifications were introduced several years ago as a useful tool that kept readers informed with regular updates, but today they are often used to bombard website visitors with unsolicited adverts or even encourage them to download malicious software. Pixabay

The monthly number of users affected by fraudulent browser push notifications as a means of phishing and advertising has grown from 17.2 lakh in January to 55.4 lakh in September 2019, according to a research by cybersecurity firm Kaspersky.

Kaspersky said its products protected more than 1.4 crore users from attempts to allow websites to show unwanted notifications.

Browser push notifications were introduced several years ago as a useful tool that kept readers informed with regular updates, but today they are often used to bombard website visitors with unsolicited adverts or even encourage them to download malicious software.

Cyber Attack, Web-Listing, Malware
The dark net is that part of the Internet which is inaccessible when using standard browsers like Google. Pixabay

Useful user-friendly features, such as push notifications, are easy-to-use instruments for scams based on social engineering techniques, and therefore their growing popularity is not entirely unexpected.

Also Read: Physical Therapy Can Help To Cure Back Pain: Research

“We have seen a rise in push notifications being abused, as attackers continue to creatively adapt new technologies in order to trick users. Because this feature is so widespread and easy to take advantage of through social engineering schemes, we have seen a rapid growth in the number of affected users,” Artemy Ovchinnikov, security researcher at Kaspersky, said in a statement.

“Push notifications are a very useful tool for users that help them stay on top of important things that interest them. Yet, as with anything on the Internet, users have to remain attentive and cautious when interacting with pop-ups and only allow push notifications if they are completely sure the alerts are useful and come from trusted sources,” Ovchinnikov added. (IANS)