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Mobile Phone Users Not Likely To See Clowns (Or Anything Else)

According to a new study conducted by researchers at the Western Washington University in USA, people who talk on their mobile phones are very less likely to pay attention what is happening near them.

The researchers apparently got a clown to dress in bright colours and ride around the university campus after which they inquired from the people using their mobile phones if they were able to spot the clown.

The study which incidentally surveyed around 300 individuals, found that over two thirds of those talking on their mobile phones were unable to spot the clown even though he was wiring a very eye catching attire.

Explaining the findings in their report, the researchers mentioned “We found that individuals walking while talking on a cell phone displayed "inattentional" blindness in a real-world situation. Even a task as practiced as walking can be disrupted by cell phone conversations.”

The report quite aptly supports the long standing view shared by many academicians and local authorities across the world who have long encouraged the idea of avoiding the use of mobile handsets while driving, citing the clear shift of attention that talking on the mobile while driving causes, which may prove to be hazardous.

Our Comments

They need not use clowns to prove that theory. It is widely known that driving while talking on the phone can be dangerous because most human beings can only done one thing well at the same time. We're not great multitaskers anyway; one has to wonder though if the findings could jeopardise court cases.

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Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.