Scientists work out why mobiles annoy

Top scientists have been working out why mobile phones wind you up so much.

Cornell University’s finest minds know that people shouting into mobile phones get you cross but wondered exactly why.

According to the journal Psychological Science, which we get for the spot the neurosis competition, the boffins claim that it is all because of the way that the mind works.

Apparently we have less control to move away our attention from half a conversation than we do when we are listening to a complete one.

“Since halfalogues really are more distracting and you can’t tune them out, this could explain why people are irritated,” she said in an interview.

Emberson said that the brain half hears the conversation and tries to make sense of it.

This is because part of the brain is dedicated to predicting what speakers will say next.

“When you hear half of a conversation, you get less information and you can’t predict as well,” she said. “It requires more attention.”

The findings by Emberson and her co-author Michael Goldstein were based on research involving 41 college students.

They did concentration exercises, like tracking moving dots, while hearing one or both parties during a mobile phone conversation.

The students made more errors when they heard one speaker’s side of the conversation than when they overheard the entire dialogue.