Facebook makes students 20% more stupid

Darren Allan

September 7, 2010

In one that can probably be safely filed under the “you don’t say” category, new research from the US has indicated that Facebook can have a negative impact on your exam results.

The Daily Mail reports that a study undertaken by professor Paul Kirschner over in the States showed that students who revised for exams with their social networking account up and running on the computer, even if it was in the background, scored much lower than their classmates.

In fact, their average marks dipped by 20% compared to those who weren’t obsessed with status updates and photo tagging last night’s party snaps in between grabbing gobbets of revision.

The study was set up to test the idea that young people and their adaptable brains are able to carry out this sort of multi-tasking with no ill effect on their work. Which, clearly, was never going to be the case.

Kirshcner told the Mail: “Our study 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.”

So, given the ever increasing population of Facebook, which presumably encompasses more and more of the youth of today, how come exam results in the UK are still on the up and up? Hmm, it’s a total mystery, that one.


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