Roadmap of the effect of “cell phone use while driving” (Strayer) module

Roadmap of the effect of “cell phone use while driving” (Strayer) module



I chose this module because this is a contemporary issue that is of relevance to my students. Informal class surveys of my students indicate that almost all of them drive and talk on cell phones with very few of them having really considered the dangers and cognitive distractions due to cell use while driving.

Three of the 4 papers in this module are from the same lab. David Strayer from the University of Utah, whose work was instrumental in some of the laws created against cell phone usage while driving.

These papers are not too complex, but should help familiarize students with an understanding of experimental design. They were not necessarily chosen to be the best example of research design in the field, but were chosen because these students are novices to research design and statistics and these studies will engage students in this topic, and at the same time, they will learn more about research design and statistical analysis.

My students also will hopefully take away lessons for life—about the importance of the dangers of talking on cell phone while driving, with effects similar to drunk driving, among other applications to their daily lives. These papers also nicely build upon one another.


Applicable for Courses:

Pysch majors, non majors

Educational Level:

Many levels

Roadmap Objectives:

    • Article: Strayer, D. L. & Johnston, W.A. (2001). Driven to Distraction: Dual-task studies of simulated driving and conversing on a cellular telephone. Psychological Science (12) 6, 462-466.
    • Content area/major concepts: This paper describes dual task studies examining the effects of cell phone conversations on a simulated driving task.
      Performance was NOT disrupted by listening to radio broadcasts or listening to a book on tape.
      BUT, there was disruption on a word-generation variant of a shadowing task and the deficit increased with the difficulty of the driving.
      Conversations using a hands-held of hands-free device BOTH resulted in a 2-fold increase in
    • Methods or technology used to obtain data:
    • How the CREATE strategy was used:
    • Biggest teaching challenge:

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