Using Facebook 'can lower exam results by up to 20%'

9.7.10 -It is what parents of teenagers who 'revise' in front of the computer have long feared. Students who use Facebook while they study get significantly lower grades than those who do not, according to psychologists.

A study has found that the exam results of those who used the social networking site while working, even if it was on in the background, were 20 per cent lower than non-users.

Researchers say the findings undermine the theory that young people’s brains are better at multitasking on digital gadgets.

Study author Professor Paul Kirschner said: ‘The problem is that most people have Facebook or other social networking sites, their emails and maybe instant messaging constantly running in the background while they are carrying out other tasks.

‘Our study, and other previous work, suggests that while people may think constant task-switching allows them to get more done in less time, the reality is it extends the amount of time needed to carry out tasks and leads to more mistakes.’

His team studied 219 students aged between 19 and 54 at an American university.

The Facebook users among them had a typical grade point average – a score from zero up to four – of 3.06. Non-users had an average GPA of 3.82.

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  1. Elan Xu

    Does this statement try to tell us that the same students not using facebook will do better in school that if they used facebook? In no way does the article prove that.

  2. James

    There are too many variable unaccounted for in thus study, or at least the study according to this article. Is it simply the distraction of Facebook, or does there exist a certain outlook among the minds of students who use Facebook while studying versus those who do not?

    "Researchers say the findings undermine the theory that young people's brains are better at multitasking on digital gadgets."

    ^There is no such theory. Theory is a proven relationship between scientific facts. It's a belief.

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September 7th, 2010

Jimmy Kilpatrick

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