In the preceding four years, the percentage of teens that have used text messages has risen from 27% to 54%, with moderate increases in use appearing in other age ranges as well (Pew Internet & American Life Project, 2010). The effects of text messages upon completion of cognitive tasks has been widely debated, and the results of studies in these fields have been pertinent to the implementation of policies and procedures governing the use of text messages in a variety of industrial and academic settings.
A common inquiry involving computer-mediated communication (CMC) involves the effect that these real-time communication capabilities, such as text messaging and other forms of digital instant messaging (IM) from mobile devices, have on student performance and learning. In 2009, the researchers Fox, Rosen, and Crawford conducted a study that subjected subject to various CMC based interruptions during an academic lecture, which led to the assessment that CMC does in fact negatively impact performance quality, generally resulting in students taking longer to finish multiple choice assignments. Interestingly, free recall questions were not impacted too as high a degree. The overall effects of CMC on long-learning and recall have not been established, and are widely debated. This study serves the purpose of providing additional insight into the effects of CMC on immediate recall, such as required for cognitive processing of multiple choice questions.
Participants will be seven students from a Human Development course at the UCSD. The students will have the choice to participate in the experiment for class credit. All participants will be female and age range will be 20-25. This is a within-subjects design and all participants will be tested at the same time.