I recently conducted a study about how smartphones effect an individual’s ability to focus, specifically when listening to music. This study consisted of two groups, A and B, with 5 people in each.
The first task of the study groups was for them to listen to a song for one minute and try to memorize both the music and lyrics at the same time.
Group A was permitted to hold smart phones, whereas group B did not hold anything.
I didn’t tell Group A not to look at or use their smart phones, ideally they were free to make that choice.
After they listened to the music, each individual from the groups was brought one by one into a private room and asked to recollect and sing the same song they just heard. Their responses were then compared to the original song, determining whether they could sing
it correctly or not. The scoring was based on their ability to recite the lyrics and the melody.
As a result, one of team A and four of team B could remember and sing the song correctly.
In next task of the study, group A did not hold anything and group B held smart phones, while again listening to a song with the goal being to memorize as much of the lyrics and melody as possible.
This time a slightly shorter song was used.
As a result, three of team A and two of team B could recite and sing the song correctly.
In regards to the above reasons, I have concluded that if a person holds (even if they are not using it at that moment) a smart phone, they will defocus on listening to music.
To confirm this conclusion, for the third task I asked both groups to all hold pens instead of smart phones or nothing. They listened to a final song. Surprisingly every one of them could recite and sing the song correctly.
My guess is that the individuals in this study group as well as most people when holding a smart phone, unconsciously always think that they will receive a call, text, e-mail or social media alert. Those thoughts whether worrisome or not are enough of a small distraction to affect the individuals’s ability to focus.
Please do not hold your smart/mobile phone if you really want to focus on listening to or memorizing music.