How Dialling Phone Numbers Could Affect The Way We Think

How Dialling Phone Numbers Could Affect The Way We Think

Consciously or not, when we’re dialing phone numbers we tend to be influenced by the action. Here’s why, and what the greater implications might be.

Psychology professor Sian Beilock, writing for Psychology Today, has studied ways the body can affect the mind. One example is, strangely, in the dialing of phone numbers:

In a study published last week in the journal Psychological Science, psychologist Sascha Topolinski asked people to dial strings of digits (e.g., 5683) on a cell phone that shared the same key sequences with real words (e.g., LOVE). Everyone then read words they had unknowingly dialed and words that they had not keyed in. It turned out that people were faster to recognise the words they had dialed relative to the non-dialed words and, the more of a skilled cell phone user a person was, the quicker they recognised the dialed words.

What’s so strange about this is it doesn’t seem to matter if we consciously recognise that we’re dialing a specific word. The act of dialing those numbers seems to be enough. Beilock suggests this may be evidence of how what we do with our body can influence our mind. What do you think?

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How Our Cell Phones Control Our Minds [Psychology Today]

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