Studying while using Facebook lowers grades, says research

Facebook users scored 20 per cent lower in exams than non-users.

Students who used Facebook while studying or doing homework scored 20 per cent lower in exams than those who did not, a study revealed on Tuesday.

Conducted on 219 US university students aged 19-54 years, the study found that Facebook users scored a grade point average of 3.06 out of 4, whereas those who did not use the website while studying, scored 3.82 on average.

The study was conducted by Netherlands psychologist Paul Kirschner of the Centre for Learning Sciences and Technologies at the Open University of the Netherlands, and Aryn C Karpinski of Ohio State University.

According to Kirschner, most people have social networking sites, emails and instant messengers running in the background while carrying out other tasks. The study questions the stereotype that young people are adept at multitasking.

While many think constant task-switching allows them to get more done in less time, in reality, it extends the amount of time needed to carry out tasks and leads to more mistakes, he added.

However, three quarters of those who used the social networking site while revising, said they did not believe that spending time on the site affected their academic performance, the survey added.