General vs Absent-minded Smartphone Usage and Everyday Attention
Two broad forms of smartphone use have been defined: general and absent-minded. While preforming a task, many notifications and messages may occur simultaneously presenting the opportunity for attention to be divided. This study aimed to investigate the effect of smartphone usage on attention-span.
Participants (N = 102) consisted mainly of college students who completed two questionnaires; The Smartphone Usage Questionnaire (SUQ) and The Trait Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS) which examined how people use their phones and how often daily attentional functioning errors occurred. Method of smartphone use was also investigated (Instant Communication, Social Media, Information Browsing and Listening) to examine whether any interaction existed between type and method of smartphone usage.
The main effect of type of smartphone usage on MAAS Scores indicated a significant statistical difference. Absent-minded smartphone use indicated higher MAAS scores compared to general smartphone use. This supports previous findings that using the smartphone without intent or direction contributes to poorer attentional control.