Are cell phones making people more selfish? A recent study published by marketing professors Anastasiya Pocheptsova and Rosellina Ferraro at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business suggests that cellphone use may lead to selfish behaviour. The researchers found that after a short period of cellphone use, subjects were less likely to engage in “prosocial behaviour” involving any action intended to benefit another person or society as a whole. Cellphone users, for instance, were less inclined to volunteer for the community when asked and were less persistent in solving word problems when told that correct answers would lead to charity donations. The authors believe that the results may have broad implications and suggest that cell phone use may evoke “feelings of connectivity” that reduce our desire to contribute to the community.

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