Does Email Cause IQ Loss?

A widely reported story last week stated that a study conducted by Hewlett Packard found that "Workers distracted by email and phone calls suffer a fall in IQ more than twice that found in marijuana smokers." Sounded like bad news for people like myself who are constantly checking email. But Mind Hacks has examined the study a little more closely and found its results aren't all they're cracked up to be. What the test actually found is that people do worse on IQ tests if they're simultaneously trying to answer email and phone calls. Which isn't surprising. But this 'IQ loss' only lasts for as long as the distractions last. In other words, you're not really losing any intelligence. Reading email simply stopped people from focusing on the test.

Psychology Technology

Posted on Wed Apr 27, 2005


Great! Now we know people are more distracted when they're, uh, distracted.

Good to know somewhere out there people do researches to confirm these things that NO ONE questions.
Posted by Tom  on  Thu Apr 28, 2005  at  12:50 AM
Oh yes, possibly more pointless than the 'biscuit breakage' research.
Posted by Boo  on  Thu Apr 28, 2005  at  04:54 AM
I know that I get distracted when I have MOH up. I have to turnaround 4 claims in 60 minutes, when I'm checking on MOH, it drops to 2 clms in 60 minutes. If I can close the page, I can get my #s up to 6 in 60.
Posted by Maegan  on  Thu Apr 28, 2005  at  04:56 AM
I think it is necessary to say that - oops, wait a minute, I just got an e-mail...
Posted by Wally  on  Thu Apr 28, 2005  at  03:51 PM
Whew...I was worried for a minute there, all I do is smoke weed and check my email......
Posted by Jimmy  on  Thu Apr 28, 2005  at  08:22 PM
I'm glad that they offically proved that when you're distracted, you have a difficult time doing things.
Glad that they spend time researching these things
Posted by Diana  on  Sun May 01, 2005  at  10:51 PM
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