Mobile Phone Ringtones Make You Stupid

By Sam Gibbs on at

That bloke’s Beyoncé Single Ladies ringtone in the cubicle next to you isn’t just annoying -- it’s also draining your brain. A study out of Washington University shows that ringtones actually damage learning and can make you 25 per cent dimmer.

In a three-year study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, the researchers showed that students exposed to the annoyance of a ringtone going off scored a whole 25 per cent lower in tests than those protected from the irritation. It was made even worse when the person with the phone going off rummaged around in their bag attempting to switch off the phone.

The horrors of ringtones don’t stop there either; it was found that small song snippets, especially of popular tunes commonly used as ringtones, caused a long-lasting detrimental affect on concentration and cognitive performance.

Thankfully for office workers, it’s apparently possible for people to get used to these annoying distractions over time, reducing their impact on your brainpower. But the science is clear, turn your phone onto silent and get those around you to do the same. You don’t want to be 25 per cent stupider, right? [MSNBC]

Image credit: Phone ringing from Shutterstock