Sunday, September 09, 2012

Psychology professors say that FAA cell phone turn-off rules not justified by any evidence



A recent survey shows that about 42% of Americans admit to not turning off their cell phones and other electronics during aircraft takeoff and landing, as required by FAA rules, and about 7% do nothing.

Daniel Simons (University of Illinois) and Christopher F. Chabris (Union College) have an article in the Wall Street Journal Saturday, “Do our gadgets really threaten planes? The ban on electronic devices rests on anecdotes, not hard evidence – because there isn’t any”, link (website url) here.

The authors are discussing the result of their own study.  Correlation does not imply causality, they say,
I did comply literally with the cell phone rules on my May trip to California (from DC), but an earlier trips to Minneapolis and then Dallas, I was part of the 42%.  Back in 2004, I got a substitute teaching assignment phoned in while on the tarmac in Tampa, FL. 

Picture: over Wisconsin.  (I know: when Matt Damon and Ben Affleck played angels in "Dogma", they lived there, on the ground.  They didn't obey FAA rules when they filed.) 

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