Overheard cell phone conversations are more annoying?

May 21, 2010 2:08:51 PM PDT
Are you often annoyed by hearing other people's cell phone conversations? You're not alone, and scientists say they think they know the reason why.

Overhearing one-sided conversations really is more annoying because the brain finds it more taxing and therefore more distracting to listen to only half of a conversation versus the whole thing.

Scientists say much of how humans process language is based on the brain's ability to predict or anticipate what comes next in a sentence.

With half a phone conversation, you're only getting a snapshot, so you can't predict the future which is what the brain has evolved to do.

The study appears in the journal Psychological Science.


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