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Texting Study: Frequent Texting Makes You Shallow, Says University Of Winnipeg

04/12/2013 11:42 EDT | Updated 04/12/2013 11:42 EDT
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Ethnic female student with curly hair wearing wearing an orange shirt and texting with her smart phone

If you're addicted to texting, you may now have more to worry about than just being distracted while you're walking or driving.

Texting — expecially among teens — has become a social epidemic. And besides making kids act like zombies and indulge in risky beaviour, heavy texters are also more likely to be shallow, according a new study by the University of Winnipeg.

The study found that frequent texters place less value on moral, aesthetic, and spiritual goals, while placing greater importance on wealth and image.

"The values and traits most closely associated with texting frequency are surprisingly consistent with Carr’s conjecture that new information and social media technologies may be displacing and discouraging reflective thought,” Dr. Paul Trapnell, associate professor of psychology at The University of Winnipeg, said in a statement. “We still don’t know the exact cause of these modest but consistent associations, but we think they warrant further study."

The researchers evaluated more than 2,300 introductory psychology students who completed an hour-long psychology research survey that included questions about texting frequency, personality traits and life goals. The data was collected at the beginning of the fall semester for three years in a row.

They found students who texted more than 100 times a day were 30 per cent less likely to feel strongly being ethical and principled in life was important to them, in comparison to those who texted 50 times or less a day.

More surprisingly however, the higher texting rates were also consistently correlated with more ethnic prejudice.

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