Sign In

Communications of the ACM

ACM Careers

Twitter Is Eroding Your Intelligence, Study Says


View as: Print Mobile App Share: Send by email Share on reddit Share on StumbleUpon Share on Hacker News Share on Tweeter Share on Facebook
Twitter, illustration

Credit: Reuters

Twitter not only fails to enhance intellectual attainment but substantially undermines it, according to a working paper published this month by the economics and finance department at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan.

"It's quite detrimental," says Gian Paolo Barbetta, a professor of economic policy at the private research university and lead author of "Let's Tweet Again? The Impact of Social Networks on Literature Achievement in High School Students: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial." "I can't say whether something is changing in the mind, but I can say that something is definitely changing in the behavior and the performance."

The study drew on a sample of roughly 1,500 students attending 70 Italian high schools during the 2016-17 academic year. Half of the students used Twitter to analyze a 1904 novel by Italian Nobel laureate Luigi Pirandello. The other half relied on traditional classroom teaching methods.

Using Twitter reduced performance on a test by about 25 to 40 percent of a standard deviation from the average result, the paper says.

The decline was sharpest among higher-achieving students, including women, those born in Italy, and those who had scored higher on a baseline test. This finding, the paper notes, bolsters the conclusion that blogs and social networking sites actively impair performance, rather than simply failing to augment learning.

From The Straits Times
View Full Article


 

No entries found