August 11, 2009, 9:42 PM — "We suspect that using mobile phones a lot, particularly tools like predictive texts for SMS, is training them to be fast but inaccurate," says Professor Michael Abramson, an epidemiologist at Monash University in Australia who studied the performance of prolific texters, aged 11 to 14, on IQ-type tests.
Abramson found that the "kids who used their phones a lot were faster on some of the tests, but were less accurate." And concluded that predictive testing is to blame because it trains kids to expect that by entering just a couple of letters they'll get the word they want.
In an earlier and unrelated study, researchers at the University of North Carolina found that texting is an effective weight loss tool for tech-savvy kids. Of the 58 kids who took part in the study, the group that communicated with the research team via text message were the most likely to stick to their diet and exercise plan.