Sunday, May 01, 2005

Info-Mania and Your IQ

A study commissioned by Hewlett Packard and covered by The Washington Post and Red Herring says we are becoming Info-Maniacs. We constantly check our email and allow instant messages and cell-phones to interrupt real work, meetings and down-time. And such behavior is making us stupid.

According to Red Herring:
... environments with distracting technologies lower IQ by an average of more than 10 points when compared with quiet conditions.

By comparison, other research has shown that smoking marijuana causes just a 4-point drop. A 10-point reduction is similar to the impact of missing an entire night’s sleep.
I am skeptical about such claims and wonder whether bad reporting on pseudo-scientific research is more damaging to your IQ. However, I applaud Hewlett-Packard's Guide to Info-Mania. I especially like the section on improving meetings by reducing interruptions and casual attendance. Check it out.

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