The Meditating Role of Mindfulness in Texting During Study Activities: ASSC Conference

Rebecca Semmens-Wheeler, Emma Griffiths

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


    This study examines the influence of mindfulness on learning when texting during lectures and reading. It is proposed that mindful individuals have good executive control of attention, which reduces their susceptibility to distraction, and supports their ability to regain attention swiftly if diverted. It is suggested that this is due to superior meta-awareness and emotion regulation, whereby individuals manage boredom and frustration during present tasks more effectively than those less mindful. It was hypothesised that high levels of mindfulness would be associated with greater learning during multi-tasking study activities. 160 participants took part in four conditions: video lecture only, video lecture and texting, reading only, reading and texting text. All participants self-reported on mindfulness, mobile phone use and preference for multi-tasking. Learning was measured through a multiple-choice questionnaire on completion of the task. There was no difference between reading and watching a lecture. Texting groups performed significantly worse on study material comprehension in both study conditions. Mindfulness mediated the difference between texting and non-texting groups on learning, but mobile phone use and multi-tasking preference were not associated with the outcomes. These findings support the notion that mindfulness may protect against the negative impact of multi-tasking while learning by increasing meta-awareness. Future research could explore the mechanisms underlying this effect and further explore the role of meta-awareness and cognitive control.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished (VoR) - 20 Apr 2018


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