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Posted on Mon, Dec 17, 2012 : 10:53 a.m.

U-M researchers: Cell phone use can be contagious among 16- to 25-year-olds

By Kellie Woodhouse

Two University of Michigan researchers found that if one young adult pulls out a cellphone, other young adults nearby are 39.5 percent more likely to reach for their own devices soon afterward, according to The Huffington Post.

Julia A. Finkel and Daniel J. Kruger observed pairs of 16- to 25-year-olds in restaurant, dining hall and other campus settings during 10-second intervals, finding that if one person pulled out his or her cellphone, a companion was likely to do the same during the next interval, the Huffington Post reported.

Overall, individuals used their cellphones during 24 percent of the intervals, according to the report.

The findings of the 2011 study were published in the Human Ethology Bulletin, the Huffington Post reported.

Read the full article here.



Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 6:03 p.m.

If Party One of the pair is simply dialing the second party (it could happen!) and Party Two simply takes out his/her phone to answer, does that count as a half or whole incident? Won't sleep until I know that.


Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 4:20 p.m.

Wait a minute, they only looked at PAIRS of people. I suppose that if there are only 2 people, and 1 gets out their phone to check messages or whatever, and the other one is just doing nothing, they could... pull out their cell phone and check for messages or whatever. Or they could just sit there and do absolutely nothing until the first person is done. Pretty useless information generated. I thought they were at least talking about groups of people. That might shed some result that would be of some interest. Perhaps, would the others in a group continue a conversation and leave the first person out? Or would several people in the group pull out their phones and wait for everyone to be done before resuming the conversation? Not shocking that if the only options are to do nothing or do something quick and easy, the 2nd person opts to do something.


Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 3:49 p.m.

Unbelievable! Taxpayer dollars probably paid for this self-evident, so-called "research". Sad commentary on what passes for "research" these days.


Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 1:38 p.m.

And if you pull out your cell phone and yawn at the same time, you are 50% more likely to be contagious...and bored.


Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 11:48 a.m.

Quoting Huffington as a news source? Really? Paper was published in 2011 in Human Ethology Bulletin. Huffington doesn't write stories, they copy them.

Homeland Conspiracy

Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 2:34 a.m.

I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. the world will have a generation of idiots. – Albert Einstein

Unusual Suspect

Mon, Dec 17, 2012 : 10:59 p.m.

Huffington Post? This is a new low for It reminds me of the time before the death of The Ann Arbor News when they were regularly including editorials from New York Times, L A TImes, Boston Herald, and Miami Herald.


Mon, Dec 17, 2012 : 10:33 p.m.

Just have to wonder how much this study costs and who paid for it. No mention here or in the article.

Nicholas Urfe

Mon, Dec 17, 2012 : 9:57 p.m. needs a voice powered app that lets people scream comments into their phone, to be translated and posted on the site. The future is gonna be grand!


Mon, Dec 17, 2012 : 5:45 p.m.

When is going to get a phone app so I can comment whilst riding the bus instead of watching videos or texting?


Mon, Dec 17, 2012 : 5:37 p.m.

I still have a slide phone from 4 years ago. I don't understand the phone obsession, seems like kids always have to be staring at a display to be happy now days.


Mon, Dec 17, 2012 : 5:21 p.m.

Gee, we all managed very well before cell phones were ever invented. Can't help but notice how the cell phone have become a part of their body amongst the youth of today. Yea, many older adults are no better.

Craig Lounsbury

Mon, Dec 17, 2012 : 4:15 p.m.

I am filing this under zzzzzzzzzzzzz


Mon, Dec 17, 2012 : 4:10 p.m.

Does this take into account those who never put it away? The new addiction.