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VS: Re: Annoyance of cell phone use in public spaces

Christian Kaernbach wrote: 

> Odd Torleiv,
> Was this to say that Lowel did not contribute anything new? I think he
> did. Curiosity has not been mentioned up to now. 

You're right, Christian - I did not pay enough attention to the nosey part. 
My attention was directed towards his (OMard, Lowel P ) focus on being able to to hear only one side of the conversation. The phenomenons that Michael Norris' mentions have but one function: to make sense out of the surroundings. This implies an attempt at seeing meaningful patterns in the incoming data. This also implies having our attention focused on the subject of the conversation taking place; When there is only one voice to be heard in what seems to be a conversation, we have to put more effort in making sense out of the conversation. I personally believe that we are just as curious in regard to a "two-sided conversation" as to a "one-sided conversation". The aspects mentioned by Norris explains why the "one-sided conversation" calls our attention stronger, and the underlying aspect of creating meaning from data explains why the "one-sided conversation" demands more cognitive effort. Maybe the aspect of "effort" is one explanation for the state of frustration caused by a mobile phone conversation on the bus - we have difficulties in making sense of the conversation. Also - if one attempts not to make sense out of the "one-sided conversation" (dislikes hearing others private conversations - i.e. not curious), the aspects mentioned by Norris explains why it is so hard not to focus on the conversation; again, a cause for frustration.

> One would have to check whether cell phone use in a
> foreign language is less annoying (I have a feeling it is).

As the aspect of meaning is central here, you are right - it is probably less annoying.

Odd Torleiv Furnes

Odd Torleiv Furnes
Department of Musicology
University of Oslo
phone: +4762521667
mail: oddtf@imt.uio.no

> 7. august Michael Norris wrote:
> Guesses:
> (1:psychoacoustic) if there is only one voice alternating with
> silence you have to keep readapting and reorienting to the voice,
> - as with a noise alternating with silence it sounds louder
> and you are more aware of its position relative to yourself.
> (2:learned) with a 2-sided conversation we are used to the
> pattern of intonation and expect an alternation of voices, so
> hearing one side is unusual, therefore grabs more attention
> (3:social) speech nearby after silence often signals that
> someone is trying to open a conversation with you, so you have
> to keep actively ignoring the social cue.