My paper Five days at outdoor education camp without screens improves preteen skills with nonverbal emotion cues has an Altmetric score of 541. This is a high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received.
Ph. D Developmental Psychology, UC Los Angeles
MBA, UC Los Angeles
B.A. French Literature, UC Berkeley
21st century media, fame, and other future aspirations: A national survey of 9-15 year olds, peer reviewed research in Cyberpsychology 2014. First Author.
Five Days at an Outdoor Camp… peer reviewed research in Computers in Human Behavior, 2014. First Author.
Learning from paper, learning from screen: Impact of screen reading and multitasking conditions on reading and writing among college students. International Journal Of Cyber Behavior, Psychology and Learning, 2014. Fourth Author.
The Value of Fame, peer reviewed research in Developmental Psychology, 2012. First Author.
The Rise of Fame – peer reviewed research in Cyberpsychology, July, 2011
Psychological Observer – about Psychology in Action, December, 2011
Chapter in At Issue, Cyberbullying, Textbook for high schoolers by Cengage Learning, November, 2011, Reprinted several times by other publishers.
Chapter: The Internet and other active media, (2011). In B. B. Brown & R.Silbereisen (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Adolescence, Oxford: Elsevier. First Author.
Book Review on Hanging Out, Messing Around and Geeking Out, with Kaveri Subrahmanyam for Journal of Children and Media, 2010.
Grants and Awards
Society for Research in Child Development Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award, 2015Dena Chertoff Graduate Service Award, UCLA (2014)
Millard Madsen Distinguished Dissertation Award, UCLA (2014)
Summer Research Mentorship Award, UCLA. (2010, 2011)
Career Redevelopment Grant, American Association for American Women, (2011-2012)
National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship, Honorable Mention (2011)
Psychology In Action Award, UCLA (2012)
HP Research Consultant Grant, (2012-2013)
Travel Award, SRCD (2011, 2013)
Other Notable Distinctions
Invited Participant, National Science Foundation conference, The Informed Brain the Digital World, Irvine, Ca. 2012.
Invited Participant. MacArthur funded conference. Chair Mimi Ito. Virtual Worlds. Irvine, Ca. 2010.
2010- 2012, Co-President of Psychology in Action, UCLA student run organization that disseminates research to communities of interest, outside of academia.
Leadership Advisory, UCLA Psychology in Action. 2013 – present.
The fact is we all stare at screens more than we would like and many of us rely on these tools to communicate with others, even during times when we should be spending quality time with our families and friends. So does all this time staring at screens, which may take time away from looking at faces, change the nature of what we learn about the social world? Our study, at the Children’s Digital Media Center@LA, at UCLA, asked this question. We compared two groups of approximately 50 6th grade children each over a period of five days, one group had no access to screens of any kind, while the other did.
When I went back to UCLA to get a PhD in developmental psychology, I thought I would be a technological dinosaur compared to the much younger students in my cohort. But funnily enough, often I used screens more than they did — to communicate, to read and to take notes. In classes many of them used old-fashioned paper and pen and printed out their journal articles so they could use a highlighter. This surprised me, because when I speak to parents, I often hear that they are scared that this generation of students is losing out because they are learning so much more on screens.
These fears are echoed in the press. For example, the Washington Post wrote about how reading is taking a hit from online scanning and skimming. In the class I now teach to college seniors, the students themselves echoed this fear, telling me that they believe that their reading comprehension suffers when they read on a tablet.
So are these students right? Is paper superior to screen for learning, writing and comprehension? We recently examined this question in a study completed at the Children’s Digital Media Center@LA. In a series of two studies, we asked a several questions:
1. First, what do students say they prefer — paper or computer?
2. Second, do they perform better in terms of reading comprehension on paper versus screen?
3. And three, would reading articles in either medium improve the quality and efficiency for a task to write an essay which required critical thinking?
Funnily enough, millenials overwhelmingly told us they prefer paper. 60 out of 66 students preferred paper to computer when studying. We thought that this generation of students may have adapted to this new technology, but nearly everyone expressed a preference for paper, usually telling us they felt they performed better when reading on paper rather than a screen.
And indeed we ourselves believed paper was superior, but as scientists we wanted to test this intuitive feeling many of us seem to share. First we measured reading comprehension after reading material on paper, computers and tablets. We found NO DIFFERENCE in comprehension as a function of medium, even when they were allowed to multitask. But multitasking did make them take longer to read.
For our last question, surprisingly, even though these students preferred reading on paper, when push came to shove, the quality of their essay, and the time taken to complete the assignment, WAS THE SAME whether source materials were provided on paper versus screen. But once the students were allowed to access the Internet and to accordingly multitask, their scores were much higher in the computer only condition. While seeing the source materials on paper neither helped nor hindered their essays relative to the other conditions, one use of paper did help; when students took notes using paper and pencil, their access to the Internet no longer hampered their performance.
So what’s the takeaway? Bottom line, as other research has found, it doesn’t seem to make a difference whether you read on paper versus screen. But once you add in the distraction of the Internet, your work will suffer. For parents, this means what we already knew — tell your children not to multitask when they need to focus on homework.
To read our journal article, please click here