Why Hearing Someone Talking On A Cell Phones Is So Irritating

Ok, we have all felt it, the urge to smack someone who is talking loudly on their cell phone while you are trying to concentrate. Ever wonder why someone talking on a cell phone bothers you but two people carrying on a conversation next to you doesn’t? Wired reports that Lauren Emberson, a psychology graduate student at Cornell University is studying the topic and says that “Overhearing someone spewing intermittent exclamations into a handheld gadget lacks the predictability of hearing a two-way exchange and thus proves inherently unsettling.”

Wired goes on to say that the report, which will be published in Psychological Science, implies that a passenger talking on their phone could be as distracting to the driver as the driver talking on a phone. So, I wonder how soon it will be before someone wants to ban all cell phone use inside a car regardless of whether it’s the driver or passenger using the phone?