"Many of us consider a cell phone ringing in a public place to be an annoying disruption, but this study confirms that these nuisance noises also have real-life impacts," Shelton said. "These seemingly innocuous events are not only a distraction, but they have a real influence on learning."
Titled "The distracting effects of a ringing cell phone: An investigation of the laboratory and the classroom setting," the study was conducted at Louisiana State University, where Shelton received her doctoral degree. Her co-authors in the LSU psychology department include Emily Elliott, Sharon Eaves and Amanda Exner.
Apart from being annoying, distracting and rude, ringing cellphones makes students forget what they learned before and during the ringing of the phone. If the ring tone is a popular, well-known piece of music, this is even worse.
So: That mute button? Use it!