Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Applied Communication Theory and Methodology



First Advisor

Kumar, Anup

Subject Headings

Communication, Multimedia Communications


Previous research has indicated that the overuse of mobile devices by youths, especially at work or in class, can be disruptive to others, and be detrimental to the individual engaged in this activity in regards to task performance. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between distraction due to use of mobile devices, while engaged in a task, and subsequent recall of details being presented during exposure to a stimulus.

Due to the ubiquitous and pervasive nature of mobile devices in today's youth culture, and in our society as a whole, understanding and explaining what personality types and dispositions, are likely to engage in the overuse of mobile devices, and how their motivations for acquiring and using mobile devices in the first place may potentially impact the users task performance, could possibly enlighten parents, educators, and even the subject themselves as to the causes and ramifications of such behavior; thus, paving the way to possibly developing and establishing protocols that might allow individuals to use these devices more effectively and responsibly.

This investigation found that there is a significant overall inverse relationship between distraction by mobile device use while on task and attention to the details of the stimulus being presented. Persons between the ages of 26 and 40, and the personality type of Neuroticism showed some relation to being distractible. The study also found evidence that the personality type of Openness, those whose motivation for using mobile devices were utility based, and females were more likely to pay closer attention to the details of a stimulus (when controlling for all other variables including distraction by mobile device use).