Date of Award

Spring 2019


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Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS) in Psychology: Clinical




The present study was designed to determine whether one's attention could be manipulated by the mere presence of a cell phone, especially when the individual scores high in codependency traits. Previous research suggests that the mere presence of a cell phone is sufficient to inhibit an individual’s ability to perform a task. Codependency has been seen as unhealthy or dysfunctional relational patterns, and is often explained as an addiction to relationships. Eastern Washington University students (N=56) participated in cognitively demanding tasks, either with a cell phone present or without, and completed a codependency questionnaire to assess how participants respond interpersonally and the degree to which they depend on the experiences of others. Based on the current research, it does not appear that codependency impacts attention in the mere presence of a cell phone. The present study was however, able to replicate the previous research finding that the presence of a cell phone inhibits performance on an additive cancellation task. Contrary to previous research, performance improved on the Trail Making Test – Part B.