Disturbing Distractions: Investigating the Impact of Digital and Non-Digital Distractions on Task Performance

Nina Melanie Mølgaard, Marco Hubert, Sascha Steinmann, René Riedl

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Connection norms have forced individuals to keep their smartphone within arm’s length to be reachable anytime-anywhere. This has led to strong connection habits that, paired with the boundless nature of the smartphone, have increased the possibilities of being exposed to distracting (auditory) cues trigger-ing smartphone related habits. In this study we investigate whether digital (sound) distractions were more distracting compared to non-digital (sound) distractions as a result of smartphones being highly prevalent in our society and how a local distraction effect might impact overall task performance. We found that digital distractions did have a local distraction effect, but these local distractions did not amount to any significant group differences in terms of overall task performance. Although, it was found that individuals exposed to digital distractions reported increased perceived mental effort, -task diffi-culty, -subjective distraction and reduced perceived attention paid to the task compared to the non-digital and control groups.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 5 Feb 2023
Event31st European Conference on Information Systems - Universitetsveien 25, Kristiansand, Norway
Duration: 12 Jun 202316 Jun 2023


Conference31st European Conference on Information Systems
Abbreviated titleECIS
Internet address


  • Distraction
  • Mental Effort
  • Task Performance
  • Working Memory
  • Attention


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