May 03, 2005

Never mind

If you've been worrying about losing IQ points to "infomania" -- constant email and phone interruptions -- you can put your mind at ease. Once you get off the phone and clear your inbox, that is.

In an earlier post, I listed some qualms about the experimental design of Glenn Wilson's widely-reported study. But in the discussion on PsyBlog, people have described design flaws that it didn't even occur to me to imagine: could it really be true that Wilson tested people's IQ while they were trying to ignore ringing phones and email messages popping up on a screen in front of them? I don't know, and neither do you. And we apparently never will, according to reader Ewan Dunbar.

Ewan emailed Glenn Wilson, who responded that "the study has not been published", and directed inquiries to Lucy Thomas at HP's PR firm. Ewan duly wrote to her, and she responded that "the study is not available to the public."

[Update 9/25/2005: for the truth about the experimental design, and an apology for blaming the media's excesses on Glen Wilson, see this post.]

Posted by Mark Liberman at May 3, 2005 12:18 PM