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Critique Outline for Journal Review

HAN 251

Professor Zelizer

Name: Daksha Rajabhathor 108330010

Title of Article: Texting as a distraction to learning in college students

1 a. In what journal was the article published? Computers in Human Behavior

b. Is the article in a juried (refereed) or nonjuried (nonrefereed) publication? Please

provide justification for your answer.

2. What is the research problem identified by the researchers?

The research problem is that texting has become ubiquitous; technology use in class from instant

messaging to texting to other forms of social technology such as instant messaging, similar to

texting, is correlated with academic distractibility, increased reports of academic impairment and

decreased homework completion, lower recall from what was learned in the classroom, a

negative correlation between GPA, longer reading times and the multitasking that results from

texting in a classroom leads to less productive, lower quality, less efficient work.

3. a. Does the study have a problem/problem statement? If so, please state what the

problem/problem statement is and provide a justification of its importance (i.e., Is it

significant to society? Is it personally relevant?).

Text messaging, or texting, is a mode of conversation in which the sender types in a message typically of
less than 160 characters on a mobile phone or other unit and sends it to a mobile receiver, regardless of
the location or provider of the recipient. Texting has become ubiquitous through the adolescent and young
adult generations (Faulkner & Culwin, 2005), with cell phone users between the ages of 18-34 sending
upwards of 2000 text messages a month (Nielsen, 2011). Texting is often cited as the preferred method of
conversation for college students, over phones or e-mail (Bryant, Sanders-Jackson, & Smallwood, 2006;
Skierkowski & Wood, 2012; Van Cleemput, 2012). They use texting to update plans in real time, and to
discuss private activities for which an audible conversation may not be appropriate (Grinter, Palen, &
Eldridge, 2006), saving phone conversations for longer discussions about recent life events (Madell &
Muncer, 2007). According to Harrison and Gilmore (2012), college students also self-report texting
during work hours, while taking a shower, during religious services, and even while having sex.
One additional inopportune area for texting is the classroom setting. Wei and Wang (2010) recently found
that students who are habitual texters in general are more likely to text in class. Some studies suggest
technology usage during academic settings may be inhibitory to learning. For example, instant messaging
on a computer, which has similar qualities to texting, has been shown to be correlated with academic
distractibility (Levine, Waite, & Bowman, 2007), increased reports of academic impairment, and
decreased homework completion (Junco & Cotten, 2010). Researchers have also found that using social
technology such as texting or instant messaging during a simulated classroom envi- ronment can lead to
lower recall (Wood et al., 2012). In addition, GPA and texting while studying are negatively correlated
(Windham & B., 2008). Students who used instant messaging while reading a passage took longer to
finish the passage than those who did not use instant messaging, even after removing the time taken to
read and send the messages. However, there were no statistical differences on a following exam over the
read passage. The researchers attributed this to the fact that the entire article was read by both groups,
even though the instant messaging group took longer to do so (Bowman, Levine, Waite, & Gendron,
2010). In a lecture environment, the student does not have the option to pause the instructor while he or
she texts, indicating that the students must multi-task. Research has found that multitasking leads to less
productive, lower quality, less efficient work (Junco & Cotten, 2010; Mayer & Moreno, 2003; Meyer &
Kieras, 1997). Students on computers will often multitask (Judd & Kennedy, 2011), using their laptops
for things other than note taking, which can lead to distractions and lower test scores (Fried, 2008),
especially when the devices are used for social interactions during class (Junco, 2012). Other studies have
also shown that laptop usage can decrease student satisfaction, and does not statistically increase GPAs
(Wurst, Smarkola, & Gaffney, 2008). Students in online classroom environments also report multitasking
on the computer to be both distracting and challenging (Winter, Cotton, Gavin, & Yorke, 2010). Texting
acts as a distracter to attention in non-academic settings, such as driving, and divided attention in a
classroom envi- ronment will limit learning (Horrey, Wickens, & Consalus, 2006; Kass, Cole, & Stanny,
2007; Strayer & Johnston, 2001). Therefore, texting should act as a distraction to limit learning in a
lecture setting. In a recent survey, Wei, Wang, and Klausner (2012) found that students who reported
texting during a lecture had lower levels of sustained attention, and therefore lower academic
performance than those who did not text. However, this study used self- reported measures. Perhaps
students who chose to text during a lecture already have lower sustained attention, and this is what is
driving the lower academic performance. Many cultural myths circulate concerning multitasking,
including the idea that multitasking can make an individual more productive (Ophir, Nass, & Wagner,
2009). Previous studies have found that students believe that texting is distracting in general, but yet they
still choose to text during lectures (Harrison & Gilmore, 2012; Skierkowski & Wood, 2012; Wood et al.,
2012). One reason for this may be linked to an attribution bias in which students believe that their texting
abilities can overcome the distraction within a lecture. No study to date examines the effect of texting
on students in a lecture setting and looks at the students attitudes and beliefs about texting in the
classroom.

b. Based on the literature review, what was the background/justification for the

problem/problem statement?

Text messaging, or texting, is a mode of conversation in which the sender types in a message typically of
less than 160 characters on a mobile phone or other unit and sends it to a mobile receiver, regardless of
the location or provider of the recipient. Other studies have found that experienced drivers are less
distracted by cell phones and other secondary tasks than novice drivers (Nabatilan, Aghazadeh, Nimbarte,
Harvey, & Chowdhury, 2012; Patten, Kircher, stlund, Nilsson, & Svenson, 2006). Texting has become
ubiquitous through the adolescent and young adult gener- ations (Faulkner & Culwin, 2005), with cell
phone users between the ages of 18-34 sending upwards of 2000 text messages a month (Nielsen, 2011).
Texting is often cited as the preferred method of conversation for college students, over phones or e-mail
(Bryant, Sanders-Jackson, & Smallwood, 2006; Skierkowski & Wood, 2012; Van Cleemput, 2012). They
use texting to update plans in real time, and to discuss private activities for which an audible conversation
may not be appropriate (Grinter, Palen, & Eldridge, 2006), saving phone conversations for longer
discussions about recent life events (Madell & Muncer, 2007). According to Harrison and Gilmore
(2012), college students also self-report texting during work hours, while taking a shower, during
religious services, and even while having sex. One additional inopportune area for texting is the
classroom setting. Wei and Wang (2010) recently found that students who are habitual texters in general
are more likely to text in class. Some studies suggest technology usage during academic settings may be
inhibitory to learning. For example, instant messaging on a computer, which has similar qualities to
texting, has been shown to be correlated with academic distractibility (Levine, Waite, & Bowman, 2007),
increased reports of academic impairment, and decreased homework completion (Junco & Cotten, 2010).
Researchers have also found that using social technology such as texting or instant messaging during a
simulated classroom envi- ronment can lead to lower recall (Wood et al., 2012). In addition, GPA and
texting while studying are negatively correlated (Windham & B., 2008). Students who used instant
messaging while reading a passage took longer to finish the passage than those who did not use instant
messaging, even after removing the time taken to read and send the messages. However, there were no
statistical differences on a following exam over the read passage. The researchers attributed this to the
fact that the entire article was read by both groups, even though the instant messaging group took longer
to do so (Bowman, Levine, Waite, & Gendron, 2010). In a lecture environment, the student does not have
the option to pause the instructor while he or she texts, indicating that the students must multi-task.
Research has found that multitasking leads to less productive, lower quality, less efficient work (Junco &
Cotten, 2010; Mayer & Moreno, 2003; Meyer & Kieras, 1997). Students on computers will often
multitask (Judd & Kennedy, 2011), using their laptops for things other than note taking, which can lead to
distractions and lower test scores (Fried, 2008), especially when the devices are used for social
interactions during class (Junco, 2012). Other studies have also shown that laptop usage can decrease
student satisfaction, and does not statistically increase GPAs (Wurst, Smarkola, & Gaffney, 2008).
Students in online classroom environments also report multitasking on the computer to be both distracting
and challenging (Winter, Cotton, Gavin, & Yorke, 2010). Texting acts as a distracter to attention in non-
academic settings, such as driving, and divided attention in a classroom envi- ronment will limit learning
(Horrey, Wickens, & Consalus, 2006; Kass, Cole, & Stanny, 2007; Strayer & Johnston, 2001). Therefore,
texting should act as a distraction to limit learning in a lecture set- ting. In a recent survey, Wei, Wang,
and Klausner (2012) found that students who reported texting during a lecture had lower levels of
sustained attention, and therefore lower academic performance than those who did not text. However, this
study used self- reported measures. Perhaps students who chose to text during a lecture already have
lower sustained attention, and this is what is driving the lower academic performance. Previous studies
have found that students believe that texting is distracting in general, but yet they still choose to text
during lec- tures (Harrison & Gilmore, 2012; Skierkowski & Wood, 2012; Wood et al., 2012). One reason
for this may be linked to an attribu- tion bias in which students believe that their texting abilities can
overcome the distraction within a lecture. Many cultural myths circulate concerning multitasking,
including the idea that multi- tasking can make an individual more productive (Ophir, Nass, & Wagner,
2009).

c. What were the deficiencies in the literature on this problem?

It is known that from previous studies that students believe that texting is distracting in general, but yet
they still choose to text during lectures, but it is unknown why and their specific attitudes regarding
texting.

It is assumed is concluded in previous literature that texting should act as a distraction to limit learning in
a lecture setting. In a recent survey, Wei, Wang, and Klausner (2012) found that students who reported
texting during a lecture had lower levels of sustained attention, and therefore lower academic
performance than those who did not text. However, this study used self-reported measures and why this
occurs is also unknown.
4. What is the purpose of the study? Does the study have a research purpose

statement? If so, what is it?

The study wants to extend understanding of how the practice of hookah is interpreted and

practiced by young U.S. consumers and specifically looks at the practice of hookah consumption

among college students (119-120).

5. Does the study have a research question? If so, what is it? If not, what question do

you think the researchers wanted answered?

The study has three:

(1) What are the experiences, attitudes, and beliefs hookah smokers have about the use

of hookah, and how do these differ from cigarette smoking? (2) What are the

circumstances under which consumers engage in hookah smoking? (3) How is hookah

marketed through online retail and hookah lounge sites? (119).

6 a. What research methodology, design, and methods (sampling, data collection,

and data analysis) were used?

It is a qualitative methodology. This study used in depth interviews with college age hookah
smokers and a website analysis of hookah marketing practices.

b. Does the methods section provide enough information to allow the study to be

replicated? (i.e., correct sample size, sufficient size of sample, data

collection instrument, reliability, validity, procedures listed in a step by

step manner)

Although the article states that the researchers used in depth interviews though for 20 college

students who have current or past hookah smoking experience for Study 1 (121), the interviewers

directed the conversation based on the interviewees responses, which makes this aspect of the

methodology difficult to replicate. However there are other aspects of the article that were easy

to replicate such as the fact that they share the strategies used for identifying participants such as
the snowball technique. They also specify the conditions the researchers used to interview

participants and the techniques used to get participants comfortable about answering questions.

c. Does the research design align with the research questions?

Do not answer this until after the midterm. Professor Zelizer

7. Are the results clearly summarized in the text, tables and figures? Please provide

justification for your answer.

Yes for example table 1 provides a profile of the participants including gender, age, education,

ethnicity, hookah usage location(s), and whether or not each smokes cigarettes and table 2 talks

about the websites included in the study. Each table is properly labeled and captioned.

8. Are the limitations presented (i.e., low response rate) and their implications

discussed? Please provide justification for your answer.

There is only one limitation presented:

Two interviews were conducted over the telephone because of geographic constraints.

Only 20 people were used for this study, which is a small sample size although it is a

qualitative study. Also this data was taken from a large southeastern university which

may explain the very little diversity demonstrated under Ethnicity/race under table 1:

most participants are Caucasian.

9. a. In the discussion section, what were the authors interpretation of the results of

this study?

In American culture, hookah smoking is not highly visible (129).

Hookah lounges are found around urban areas and college campuses and hookahs and its

accessory are easily available online and in tiny specialty stores (129).

o Teens and young adults have open access to hookah through online purchasing

and in home use (122).

Smoking hookah can be a gateway to cigarette smoking. This and its potential health

risks make it vital that public policy makers, parents and schools get involved to spread
the dangers of hookah smoking (129).

o There is a lack of FDA regulation for the form of tobacco used in hookah (129).

There is not enough governmental regulation of the tobacco used in hookah

smoking: hookah or water pipe smoking does not exist as an industry

categorization and there is no governance or standardization to what should be in

the contents of the tobacco used in hookah.

Persuasive friends are significant influencers, and the desire to be included is an even

stronger motivation for smoking hookah. Pressure of affiliation and peer are strong

factors in supporting their sustained practice of hookah smoking (122).

o Consistent with cigarette smoking, some respondents reported initiation of hookah

during high school. Others spoke of their initiation during the first years of

college. Introduction of hookah repeatedly occurred via peers and friends and in

the context of hanging out (122).

Group hookah smoking is much different than a persons cigarette smoking session.

Group hookah smoking becomes an event in which experimentation is encouraged and

the smoking is extended for hours (122).

o In contrast, although cigarette smoking is sometimes social, often smokers hide

their habit, smoking alone when they are less likely to be caught by dis-

approving friends and family. Long sessions of hookah smoking expose

participants to carcinogens, which can lead to cancer and cardiovascular disease

(122)

College students have a lot of misinformation about the risks associated with hookah

smoking. Participants rationalize their belief in the safety of hookah on the basis of their

observation and participation in the process (125)

The fruit flavors of the hookah are associated with healthy/harmless foods (125). The

ban on flavored cigarettes does not consider the flavored tobacco used in hookah (129).
Currently, the marketing of hookah is limited to specialized stores and the Internet (125).

There is evidence that hookah sites target young people and students with their messages

(126).

Hookah smoking is embraced as a riskless alternative means of smoking (128).

Many young consumers believe that smoking hookah is non-addictive and are unaware of

its health risks (128)

Hookah sites target people under 25 (127).

Participants in this study associate the lightheadedness or slight headache as short-term

effects of hookah smoking with no lasting implications (128)

b. Do you agree with the interpretation of the results? Why or why not?

I agree with the authors interpretation of the results. Although I have never experienced hookah,

peer pressure seems to be a large part of doing it even through my observation. The people I

know who do it always are with friends and even family. I have observed some instances where

people do hookah in their homes and like the example of Vanessa, they seem to prefer it because

they are able to do it in the comfort of their homes without having to dress up or spend money.

10. a. What was the scientific merit of this study? (i.e., how will it contribute to the

literature)

For now, can put the same answer as the deficiencies question. Professor

Zelizer

b. What are the strengths of the article?

It goes very in depth on the methodology, the interpretation is detailed and there are solid

suggestions for future study and what could be done to expand the body of significant

knowledge on the health effects, implications, and usage of hookah.

c. What are the weaknesses of the article?

I did not think there was any part of this article that was weak except that more subjects

could be used. 20 people is a very small sample size to use. The article also targets a
sample size that is lacking in diversity and may not be representative of the entire

population of college students that it aimed to address in its problem statement.