Twitter Use Decreases Students' Test Scores, So What's It Doing to The Rest of Us?


Twitter, used by 126 million people daily and now ubiquitous in some industries, has vowed to reform itself after being enlisted as a tool of misinformation and hate.

每天有1.26亿人使用 Twitter,如今在一些行业Twitter无处不在,在被当作误导公众负面情绪的工具之后,Twitter决定要进行自我改革。

But new evidence shows that the platform may be inflicting harm at an even more basic level. It could be making its users, well, a bit witless.


The finding by a team of Italian researchers is not necessarily that the crush of hashtags, likes and retweets destroys brain cells; that's a question for neuroscientists, they said.


Rather, the economic reseachers, in a working paper published this month by the economics and finance department at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan, found that Twitter not only fails to enhance intellectual attainment but substantially undermines it.

相反,这些经济学家在米兰天主教圣心大学经济与金融系本月发表的一篇工作论文中发现,Twitter 不仅不能提高智力成就,而且在很大程度上破坏了这种成就。

"It's quite detrimental," Gian Paolo Barbetta, a professor of economic policy at the private research university and the paper's lead author, said in an interview with The Washington Post.

吉安 · 保罗 · 巴贝塔在接受《华盛顿邮报》采访时说:"这是非常有害的"。他是这所私立研究型大学的经济政策学教授,也是这篇论文的主要作者。

"I can't say whether something is changing in the mind, but I can say that something is definitely changing in the behavior and the performance."


To the best of Barbetta's knowledge, his study is the largest and most rigorous examination of Twitter's effect on student achievement, with applications to learning and information retention in other areas of life.


The investigation drew on a sample of roughly 1,500 students attending 70 Italian high schools during the 2016-2017 academic year. Half of the students used Twitter to analyze The Late Mattia Pascal, the 1904 novel by Italian Nobel laureate Luigi Pirandello, which satirizes issues of self-knowledge and self-destruction.

这项调查抽取了2016-2017学年在意大利70所高中就读的大约1500名学生的样本。 一半的学生使用 Twitter 来分析《已故的帕斯卡尔》,这是一本1904年的小说,作者是意大利诺贝尔文学奖获得者路易吉·皮兰德娄,它讽刺了自我认识和自我毁灭的问题。