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Cornell researchers: Yes, cell phone yappers are annoying

Jenna Johnson

They are everywhere: That woman sitting on the bus, complaining loudly into her phone. That guy at the end of the bar, yammering on and on about his weekend into an iPhone. The girl on the plane who continues a cell phone conversation until a flight attendant cuts her off.

It's not just you. These people are officially annoying.

And this month, a group of researchers from Cornell University are publishing a study that explains why, The Los Angeles Times reports.

The Cornell team exposed a group of test subjects to four background noise settings: silence, a monologue, a conversation between two people and a halfalogue (a conversation you can only hear half of, such as listening to someone talking on their phone). With the various noises in the background, participants were asked to perform a a series of cognitive tests using a computer.

The participants had no problem focusing in all of the settings except for the halfalogue.

For some reason, our brains are unable to tune out half a conversation. Researchers believe this is because we can't predict the speech pattern of a halfalogue the way we can with a monologue or two-way conversation -- making it harder to ignore.

So if you are debating making a call, realize that you are going to drive the strangers around you crazy. Send a text instead.

By Jenna Johnson  |  May 21, 2010; 10:27 AM ET
Categories:  News Overload  | Tags: Cornell  
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Comments

Unfortunately I don't think those annoying yappers are in the group "So if you are debating making a call, realize that you are going to drive the strangers around you crazy. Send a text instead."

We as a culture need to step up and ask them to take the call somewhere else. I know I don't do it, because I don't really know how.

Posted by: slawlerdc | May 21, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

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