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A ringing phone: The distracting effect of ringtones
University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
2017 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Sustainable development
Sustainable development according to the University's criteria is not relevant for the essay/thesis
Abstract [en]

Ringing phones are common in work space environments in the 21th century and while capturing the attention of the call-taker they also tend to disrupt people in the surrounding environment. This study aims to investigate the attentional capturing effect of ringtones by comparing sudden and increasing onsets with quiet and noise masking conditions while participants undertook a test of short-term memory for serial order (serial recall). The experiment presented new evidence that increasing ringtone sounds have a disruptive effect on serial recall processing. A masking noise background, however, successfully eliminated the effect of the increasing ringtone sound.  In contrary to what was anticipated, the ringtone with the sudden onset did not cause an attentional capture effect, suggesting at least in behavioural terms, it was successfully ignored. The results are discussed in relation to the literature on looking effects. Increasing ringtone sounds may appear looming, with sudden onset sounds decreasing in volume appearing receding. The central idea is that looming sounds are more disruptive to serial recall because they cause a diversion of attention from the serial recall task so as to react to the apparently approaching sound. The disruption attributable to looming sounds may be a form of attentional capture that is more specific than those triggered by deviant events within a to-be-ignored stream of sounds. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , p. 20
Keywords [en]
Ringtones, Attentional capture, Looming effect, Irrelevant sound, Masking noise, Serial recall
National Category
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-25251OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-25251DiVA, id: diva2:1141829
Subject / course
Environmental Psychology
Educational program
Master Programme in Environmental Psychology
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2019-04-02 Created: 2017-09-16 Last updated: 2019-04-02Bibliographically approved

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A ringing phone: The distracting effect of ringtones(568 kB)8 downloads
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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard-cite-them-right
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • sv-SE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • de-DE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf