A study by the University of Winnipeg - 2,300 first-year psychology students were surveyed online for three consecutive years
- found that psychology students who do a lot of texting tend to be more shallow and ethnically prejudiced (that's racist, south of the border) and place less importance on moral, aesthetic and spiritual goals and greater importance on wealth and image. The one hour online psychology research survey included self-reported measures of texting frequency, personality traits and life goals.
Are psychology undergraduates indicative of all college students, or all young people, or all texters? Sure, they make that correlation for the media, that is why psychology gets such a bad rap - inferences from MRIs and surveys of psychology students are all the rage.
The university says the work by Dr. Paul Trapnell and Dr. Lisa Sinclair was meant to test Nicholas Carr's “shallowing hypothesis” described in his book “The Shallows”, which suggests “ultra-brief social media like texting and Twitter encourages rapid, relatively shallow thought and consequently very frequent daily use of such media should be associated with cognitive and moral shallowness.”
Sinclair presented their original findings at the 13th Annual Meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) held in San Diego and noted that daily immersion in texting, Twitter, and Facebook has not prevented the “digital native” generation of young adults from becoming more tolerant and accepting of human diversity than any previous generation. Trapnell and Sinclair see little reason for moral panic over “moral shallowing” at the present time.
Still, if your child is a psychology undergraduate and they watch "Dukes of Hazzard" reruns and text a lot, it may be time for an intervention.
Frequent texters more shallow, racist, study finds - Canadian Press, Edmonton Journal