Hate Other People's Cellphone Calls? You're Not Alone

Study found working people were more distracted by one-sided versus two-sided conversations

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"I think it's important to know that this is not about people eavesdropping," she said. "Our brains are just naturally drawn to things we know less about that are informationally rich and spark our curiosity. It really is beyond people's control."

Her advice? "I think this work speaks to etiquette," she said. As "people become more aware of the issue, there will be more and more pressure for people not to make calls in a public space where people can't escape."

Evolving technology may even offer at least a partial solution, Emberson said.

"People are using their phones more and more for texting, rather than talking, so while this will probably always be relevant it might actually become less of a problem. But maybe I'm just an optimist."

More information

For more on cellphones, visit the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

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