ARTIFICIAL ATTENTION: AN EXPERIMENTAL STUDY OF TECHNOFERENCE AND RELATIONSHIP IMPRESSION FORMATION
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis study investigated the role of technoference—the ways in which distraction through cell phones or other forms of technology—on interpersonal impression formation following a get-to-know-you conversation in the research laboratory. Two hundred and twenty-four (N = 224) college-aged participants were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: (1) the control condition (CC) featuring no manipulated phone interruptions, (2) the mild interruption condition (MIC) featuring a text message requiring a response from the confederate at minutes 3, 6, and 9 of the conversation, and (3) the significant interruption condition (SIC) where the confederate would receive a text at minutes 1, 3, and 9 and a phone call at minute 6 of the conversation. Following a preregistered data analysis plan, I found that, relative to participants in the CC, participants assigned to the SIC reported significantly greater technoference by their partner. These differences were significant for all four of the technoference items. Exploratory analyses were additionally conducted to examine how individual differences in interpersonal sensitivity affected the severity of technoference-related experiences. Our study found that participants who reported greater rejection sensitivity and attachment anxiety were more likely to report experiencing technoference, when assigned to the SIC, supporting the idea that underlying interpersonal sensitivities may play a moderating role in the moderated mediation relationship between technoference and one’s intrinsic motivation to learn more about another person.