Can’t resist texting while working? Summer Scholar Jessica Gladfelter (’15) says blame it on your hormones

by roanokecollege on October 17, 2013

Jessica Gladfelter (’15) spent her summer studying texting behavior in college students.

In particular, Jessica’s research project focuses on technointerruptions, such as text messages or Facebook notifications.

Most students do not turn off their electronic devices when studying or completing coursework even though they are known to cause stress and distract students from what they are doing. Jessica believes there may be a biological explanation behind it.

“Over the summer, I reviewed existing literature on texting and the social hormone, oxytocin. We developed a study to examine whether oxytocin is released in relation to receiving technointerruptions, causing students to feel socially connected and overriding the stress associated with being interrupted.”

Dr. Denise Friedman and Jessica Gladfelter

Dr. Denise Friedman and Jessica Gladfelter


Jessica enjoyed Summer Scholars because

“it allowed me to concentrate solely on my research while receiving individual attention and support from my research adviser.”

All of the Summer Scholars and summer researchers had the option to live in New Hall this summer. Jessica noted that

“I enjoyed the atmosphere of living on campus with other students that love research just as much as I do.”

Jessica’s faculty mentor was Dr. Denise Friedman, and Jessica advises other student researchers to be proactive.

“Start a literature search without being asked, come up with research ideas, ask if there is a project that you can help with, etc. Show the professor you are working with that you can handle and want responsibilities.”

Jessica is planning to continue her research this fall by collecting data that she will write up for publication.


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