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Cell Phone Use And Inattentional Blindness

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Cell phones have become increasingly prevalent in modern life. At the same time, they bring the possibility of many distractions. These types of distractions can be potentially dangerous and even deadly (i.e. texting and driving) and can lead to experiencing inattentional blindness (failure to see unexpected/unusual stimulus in plain sight). Text messaging has been found to affect a person’s natural walk (Lamberg & Muratori , 2012), showing that they can be very inhibiting for a pedestrian. Thus, cell phone use while crossing the street could be very dangerous because of not noticing surroundings (cars, people, etc.), traffic cues (stop lights, signs, etc.), and the possibility of walking off the designated path such as a cross walk. Although there have been studies looking at cell phone use and the effects of it on attention, they mostly focus on how it has impacted drivers and pedestrians as a whole, without differentiating types of people it could potentially effect. Having information on the type of person to experience inattentional blindness because of cell phone use could lead to better ways in improving people’s overall safety and awareness and decrease the amount of vehicle-related deaths. Cell phone use has been shown to be positively correlated with inattentional blindness. Schwebel et al. (2012), discovered that pedestrians who are distracted by their phone through either texting or music did not look at the street environment while waiting to cross the
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