FRIDAY, June 20, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Checking Facebook and
emails during class leads to lower grades for college students of
varying intelligence levels, a new study finds.
While this might seem like a no-brainer, previous studies had
suggested that smarter people are better at multitasking and
filtering out distractions, the Michigan State University
For this study, published online recently in the journal
Computers & Education, the investigators looked at
non-academic Internet use -- such as emailing, reading the news or
posting updates on social media sites -- in an introductory
psychology class of 500 students. In this type of lecture hall
setting, professors often have to compete for students' attention
as they use their laptops and smartphones.
The more the students used the Internet for non-academic
purposes during class, the lower their exam scores. This was true
for students of all levels of intellectual ability, the findings
"Students of all intellectual abilities should be responsible
for not letting themselves be distracted by use of the Internet,"
lead investigator Susan Ravizza, associate professor of psychology,
said in a university news release.
She and her colleagues also found that students didn't believe
that non-academic Internet use during classes would affect their
However, Internet use is a different type of multitasking in
that it can be so engaging, the researchers said.
Also, it would be nearly impossible to keep smartphones and
other devices out of lecture halls, according to Ravizza.
"What would you do, have hundreds of people put their cellphones
in a pile and pick them up after class?" she wondered.
The U.S. National Library of Medicine offers health tips for