The science blog “Salamander Hours” has reported on research about walking while texting that was conducted by Marymount Psychology students Ana Rivera ’11 and Christy Dressel ’11, who worked under the direction of Dr. Stacy Lopresti-Goodman, assistant professor of Psychology.
Texting on a cell phone while engaged in other activities from walking to driving has become a modern day hazard. Much as we like to think we can multi-task successfully, we need to think again when our actions could cause ourselves or others harm.
Rivera and Dressel investigated the impact of texting on a cell phone while walking through doorways of different widths. They hypothesized that those individuals who texted while walking would be more careless than individuals who walked through the doorways without texting.
They explained, “We expected this carelessness to result in more collisions with the doorways and slower walking speeds.” However, after analyzing results, they found that the texting participants had significantly slower walking speeds than the non-texting participants. The texters also tended to turn sideways going through doorways, even if there was plenty of room to walk straight through. Taking into account previous studies, the students hypothesized that such extra caution was not necessarily an effective strategy to avoid accidents.