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Smith Business Close-Up: Your Cell Phone Makes You Selfish

Mar 18, 2012
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Though cell phones are usually considered devices that connect people, they may make users less socially minded, finds a recent study from the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business.

In this edition of Smith Business Close-Up with the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, Ajay Abraham talks about new research that examines how using a cell phone impacts behavior.

Abraham is pursuing his PhD in marketing and completed the cell phone research with Smith School assistant marketing professors Rosellina Ferraro and Anastasiya Pocheptsova. The researchers found that after a short period of cellphone use, study participants were less inclined to volunteer for a community service activity when asked, compared to the control-group counterparts. The cell phone users were also less persistent in solving word problems - even though they knew their answers would translate to a monetary donation to charity.

Smith Business Close-Up is co-produced by the Robert H. Smith School of Business and Maryland Public Television. The television segment focuses on the latest thinking in business management, and features in-depth interviews with Smith School faculty and other members of the school’s community of business leaders.

Where to Watch
Smith Business Close-Up can be seen bi-weekly on Maryland Public Television's Your Business and Money. The program airs at 7:30 p.m. on Thursdays and is repeated the following Sunday at 7:30 a.m. on public television stations throughout Maryland and the Washington, D.C., metropolitan region, including:

  • WMPB-TV (Ch. 67), Baltimore
  • WMPT-TV (Ch. 22), DC metro/Annapolis
  • WCPB-TV (Ch. 28), Salisbury
  • WFPT-TV (Ch. 62), Frederick
  • WWPB-TV (Ch. 31), Hagerstown
  • WGPT-TV (Ch. 36), Oakland

About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business 

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and part-time MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, MS in business, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.