[EAS] Constant Email Lowers IQ
Peter J. Kindlmann
pjk at design.eng.yale.edu
Tue Apr 26 17:46:48 EDT 2005
My friend Patrick Lynch sent me this, and I couldn't agree more. I
update my email Inbox manually, when I want to. Automatic updating is
an assured distraction. --PJK
At 7:49 AM -0400 4/26/05, Patrick Lynch wrote:
>FYI: Interesting article
>Not so much the sheer volume of email, but the constant interruptions
>if you're not disciplined enough to read in batches at set times of
>day. The most sensible thing about email I've read in a long time,
>particularly for jobs that require long, sustained periods of intense
>concentration, like many IT and creative jobs:
> E-MAIL IS A THREAT to your IQ, according to a study conducted by
>researchers at the University of London.
>Constant e-mailing and text messaging reduces mental ability by 10
>IQ points, a more severe effect than smoking cannabis, by
>distracting the brain from other tasks, a University of London
>The loss of intelligence and disruption caused by electronic "info-
>mania," costs companies millions of dollars in lost productivity
>each year, according to the study by the University's Institute of
>"This is a very real and widespread phenomenon," said Dr. Glenn
>Wilson, author of the research, in a phone interview. "Info-mania,
>if unchecked, will damage a worker's performance by reducing mental
>sharpness. Companies should encourage a more balanced and
>appropriate way of working."
>The study of 1,000 adults found that their intelligence declined as
>tasks were interrupted by incoming e-mails and texts. The average
>reduction of 10 IQ points, though temporary, is more than double the
>four-point loss associated with smoking cannabis. A 10-point drop is
>also associated with missing a night of sleep, the report said.
>Sixty-two percent of workers are addicted to checking messages out
>of office hours and while on vacation, according to the report. A
>third of all adults will respond to an e-mail immediately or within
>10 minutes. One in five is "happy" to interrupt a business or social
>meeting to respond to an e-mail or text message, the study found.
>"E-mails flashing on a screen distracts people, and the use of
>electronic messaging should be limited," Wilson said.
>Women were less affected than men. Their average decline in IQ was
>five points, compared with 15 for males, suggesting women are better
>at multitasking, Wilson said.
>The study also surveyed opinions on messaging in the workplace.
>Eighty-nine percent of workers said it's "extremely rude" to answer
>e-mails and phone messages during a face-to-face meeting.
>Seventy-two percent were "irritated" by work phone calls held in
>The Scotsman newspaper earlier reported the findings of the study,
>which was commissioned by Hewlett-Packard Co., the world's
>second-biggest personal- computer maker.
>Patrick J. Lynch, M.S.
>Director, MedMedia Group
>Information Technology Services-Medicine
>Yale University School of Medicine
>100 Church Street South, Suite 107
>New Haven, CT 06519
>(203) 737-5034, fax
>mailto:patrick.lynch at yale.edu
>"ITS-Med: connecting people and technology."
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