ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2021, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (5): 806-814.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2021.00806

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The effect of cell phone distraction on pedestrians’ information processing and behavior during road crossing

WANG Yuhan, MA Guojie, ZHUANG Xiangling   

  1. Shaanxi Key Laboratory of Behavior and Cognitive Neuroscience, School of Psychology, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi'an 710062, China
  • Received:2020-06-01 Online:2021-05-15 Published:2021-03-30

Abstract: The proportion of pedestrian casualties caused by using mobile phones during road crossing keeps increasing. The distraction from mobile phone affects both pedestrian’s information processing and behavior. Compared with non-distracted pedestrians, pedestrians using cellphones have narrower scope of attention (esp. in the peripheral visual field), making them more difficult to perceive visual and auditory cues in traffic scenes. They are also more likely to miss street crossing opportunities or make risky decisions. As for the motor control ability, using cellphones can also lead to altered gait patterns and declined action stability. Although these impairments are modulated by specific task types (e.g. conversing vs. browsing), converging evidence suggests that distractions from mobile phones generally increase risks for pedestrians during road crossing. Here, a conceptual model is proposed to incorporate the effects of mobile phone distraction on pedestrians’ information processing and behavior. This conceptual model also indicates that future research might be required to further evaluate how mobile phone distraction affects pedestrian’s auditory information perception and subprocesses within the gap acceptance decision-making to develop targeted interventions.

Key words: information processing, distraction, mobile phones, pedestrian, transportation safety

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