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A one-sided dialogue makes your brain work harder

Listening to someone talk on the phone to a mysterious person can be quite frustrating. Well scientists have discovered the reason for the annoyed feeling is because it takes more effort for your brain to try and understand half a conversation.

A study conducted by researchers at Cornell University in New York found that eavesdroppers have a tough time dissecting one-sided discussions or "halfalogues" because they haven't heard the final words coming from the other end of the phone.

This makes the brain work harder to fill in the gaps and as a result the conversation is more difficult to ignore because curiosity gets the better of you.

Co-author of the study Lauren Emberson said: "It's unbelievably irritating to overhear someone on a cell phone.

"It's harder to tune out, you can't pull your attention away from it and you're more distracted by it.

"We have less control to move away our attention from half a conversation (or halfalogue) than when listening to a dialogue," the postgraduate psychology student added.

"Since halfalogues really are more distracting and you can't tune them out, this could explain why people are irritated.

"When you hear half of a conversation, you get less information and you can't predict as well. It requires more attention."

If you can't bear to hear someone rattle on to a mysterious person on the other end, why not politely suggest they recycle their phone for cash. That way they can spend the money on dinner while catching up and not annoy others around them as much!

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