Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
ResearchBernoulli InstituteDepartmentsEvents

An app to regulate digital distractions

30 June 2016

In this information age it is not easy to concentrate on your work. Chats, e-mails, social media… they all distract you from your work. And even if you turn off all notifications, a slow loading webpage can have you reaching for your smartphone. From her PhD research on distractions, Ioanna Katidioti concluded that they activate cognitive processes that are not then in use, and that an app that regulates these distractions might help.

Ioanna Katidioti began by studying why people allow themselves to be distracted. ‘We often interrupt our own work to do something else, like watch a cat video’, she says. In her first experiment, the participants were asked to search for product information on the web, while chat messages popped up to distract them. In general, the participants finished the task before responding to the messages. ‘This is a rational choice’, says Katidioti.

But if, in the same experiment, the web browser was very slow, the participants responded sooner to the chat messages. ‘And they then forgot important information and took longer to finish the task. They no longer behaved rationally.’......read more.

Last modified:31 May 2018 4.35 p.m.

More news

  • 11 July 2019

    Major companies’ annual reports too vague about climate impact

    Many major Dutch companies publish extensive information about climate impact in their annual reports. However, very few companies provide concrete, detailed information about their own CO2 emissions, the impact of climate change on their business...

  • 08 July 2019

    UG permanently closes Yantai project

    The University of Groningen (UG) has permanently closed the project aimed at creating a branch campus in Yantai. Discussions were held with China Agricultural University, the city of Yantai and the Province of Shandong.

  • 03 July 2019

    Cheap train tickets boost public transport use but reduce customer satisfaction

    Offers of cheap single train tickets through retailers such as Kruidvat or Etos have a positive impact on the number of kilometres travelled by rail. This impact is much bigger than that of more general TV, newspaper or magazine advertising. However,...