It looks like science has confirmed what we were all thinking: being party to one half of someone else's cell phone conversation is seriously annoying. In a paper to be published in an upcoming issue of Psychological Science, Cornell University grad student Lauren Emberson explains it thusly: not being able to hear the responses to one part of the convo proves inherently unsettling, because it's unpredictable, and thus makes it hard to concentrate. According to Science News, Emberson found that, while performing "attention tasks" in silence or while listening to various conversations (including a normal, two-sided conversation, a one-sided cell phone conversation, and a monologue) accurate completion of the tests "declined slightly but to a statistically significant extent" during the one-sided conversations, relative to the other conditions. Now if someone could only do a similar study involving The Best Of Sade, maybe we could cite it the next time we have to ask the barista at the Liberty Avenue Crazy Mocha to turn down the music while we're trying to read.

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