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Facebook Users Get Lower Grades In College

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the but-doodlers-do-fine dept.

Social Networks 284

Hugh Pickens writes "According to a survey of college students Facebook users have lower overall grades than non-users. The study by Aryn Karpinski, an education researcher at Ohio State University, found that Facebook user GPAs are in the 3.0 to 3.5 range on average, compared to 3.5 to 4.0 for non-users and that Facebook users also studied anywhere from one to five hours per week, compared to non-users who studied 11 to 15 or more hours per week. Karpinski emphasized that correlation does not equal causation and that the grades association could be caused by something else. 'I'm just saying that there's some kind of relationship there, and there's many third variables that need to be studied.' One hypothesis is that students who spend more time enjoying themselves rather than studying might tend to latch onto the nearest distraction, such as Facebook or that students who use the social networking site might also spend more time on other non-studying activities such as sports or music. 'It may be that if it wasn't for Facebook, some students would still find other ways to avoid studying, and would still get lower grades. But perhaps the lower GPAs could actually be because students are spending too much time socializing online.' As for herself, Karpinski said she doesn't have a Facebook account, although the co-author of the study does. 'For me, I think Facebook is a huge distraction.'"

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Facebook, eh? (0, Troll)

Fanboy Fantasies (917592) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569577)

Failbook (alternatively known as fakebook, fagbook, faecesbook, MyFace FacePoop, Facefuck, FailPoop, Facepalm, facebukkake, Wastebook, and RapeBook) is a Web 2.0 site cornucopia of uselessness originally designed to link together school classmates and allow college graduates to find drug dealers. It, however, is now open to everyone, and greedy jew Mark Zuckerberg wants 15 billion lollars for it. Facebook is most often used to stalk classmates. Wanna fuck someone over? tell them to go to www.gamebolts.com/facebook and tell them its how you get on old facebook. A highly trained professional will then professionally fuck his/her account over FREE OF CHARGE!

Users can troll Facebook into complete fail by faxing them for free on 650-543-4801. If enough people say 'ZOMG TEH NEW FACEBUKKAKE SUX!!!!!!111!11' or even 'Mark, you have teh ghey. Confirm/Deny' perhaps Mark Zuckerberg might choose to become an hero.

Facebook has recently enabled applications to be installed on profiles, making them more annoying and painful to load as MySpace pages. But only so much so. These applications range from the wonderfully intelligent ("Now I can show people on Facebook what I'm listening to with Last.fm") to the downright retarded ("Now I can make profiles for my cats! My life is complete!"). Certain programs allow anonymous posting to people's profiles and other pages. Trolling opportunities are rife. Especially human pets.

The cream on the cake however is the multitude of applications involving pirates, zombies, or a combination of the two. No-one is quite sure what the purpose of these applications are, however if your close friend /ex/ local stalker "Bites" you then you must respond, ASAP, Now, Quick, otherwise...nothing happens. However if you do respond...well....nothing happens.

be warned! just because she bit you, doesn't mean you can bite her back IRL.

Re:Facebook, eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27569837)

I don't usually get access to /b/ while I'm at work. This is so cash.

I KNEW IT !! In your face, Betty! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27569885)

I knew this was true long,long ago, even before there was a "facebook". Stupid people are, well, stupid. That's who ioes to "facebook", stupid people.

Re:Facebook, eh? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27569937)

Dear Slashdot, I have a story to tell. I was on Facebook late last night, having already finished blogging for the day, and I was just decided weather to fap or go to bed. Just as I was about to go to bed, my sister came home. Even though she's only 17, she was obviously drunk, and her friends had to help her up the stairs. I could hear them crashing and giggling, so I went out and stood on the landing and watched. As her friends were dragging my sister up the stairs, her hand caught one of their tops and pulled it down, exposing her breasts! I instantly did the mash, the monster mash. I did the mash, I did the monster mash.

Maybe whoever did that study (-1, Redundant)

FlyingSquidStudios (1031284) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569583)

should have learned some basic formal logic. Correlation does not imply causation.

Re:Maybe whoever did that study (1, Informative)

FlyingSquidStudios (1031284) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569617)

Okay, I'm an idiot and skipped the line which said that.

Re:Maybe whoever did that study (1)

Zarf (5735) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569739)

Okay, I'm an idiot and skipped the line which said that.

Yeah, this is slashdot! We demand cogent and intelligent arguments. We will ignore you if you have not read the article!

And furthermore...

I for one welcome our new facebook using overlords.

Re:Maybe whoever did that study (1)

lordandmaker (960504) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569625)

Third sentence:
"Karpinski emphasized that correlation does not equal causation and that the grades association could be caused by something else".

Re:Maybe whoever did that study (0, Troll)

gerddie (173963) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569633)

Did you even read the summary? - Oh, this is /. - never mind.

Re:Maybe whoever did that study (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569941)

I liked this part:

" 'It may be that if it wasn't for Facebook, some students would still find other ways to avoid studying, and would still get lower grades."

Yep, this has been happening since there were college.

I remember during one semester my roomie and I were looking for anything to distract us from studying organic chemistry. That semester, I learned to juggle. We'd study a bit, then someone would reach for the oranges..and we'd start trying to juggle, throwing oranges to each other while doing it.

Hell...when it came time to study, even housecleaning seemed a better alternative at times.

Re:Maybe whoever did that study (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27570157)

Interestingly, I also learned to juggle with a friend while not studying for a chemistry exam. I wonder if it has something to do with chemistry in general.

Re:Maybe whoever did that study (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27569637)

And maybe whoever wrote the comment above should have

(1) learned that writing part of your post in the subject field makes it hard to read and is therefore stupid; and

(2) RTFA. Hell, RTFS, where it's made clear that they've considered that.

Re:Maybe whoever did that study (-1, Flamebait)

Ender_Stonebender (60900) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569665)

From TFS:

Karpinski emphasized that correlation does not equal causation and that the grades association could be caused by something else.

I would posit that the "something else" is that Facebook (and MySpace, etc.) users are idiots. I've never looked at Facebook, but if what I see on MySpace is any indication, it will be at least 98% crud (and that's giving Facebook users a lot of credit - 99.999% of MySpace content is crud).

Re:Maybe whoever did that study (1)

internerdj (1319281) | more than 5 years ago | (#27570007)

Nice job there. You admitted you've never even seen the website and yet show complete derision for it and anyone who uses it. Obviously anyone who has a need for something like it is an idiot because they don't have the same needset as you. No sane person would ever have a need for pull type communication. We should all just talk face to face. Nevermind my brothers are both nearly a 12 hour offset from my timezone. Nevermind that my cousin spends months at a time under the world's oceans. I agree that MySpace has a crap setup leading to eye-burning layouts, but 110 million people disagree that push type communication is the only valid way to communicate.

Re:Maybe whoever did that study (0, Troll)

alexhard (778254) | more than 5 years ago | (#27570125)

The average person using facebook is the average person commenting on youtube videos: incredibly stupid. Facebook does nothing better than any other method of communication, and you have to use a shitty interface and tolerate facebook users to do..what? If you want asynchronous communication you can use any IM software out there, emails, forums, etc.

Re:Maybe whoever did that study (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27570273)

You tell em grampa! Stick it to those whippersnappers and they internets and baseball.

Re:Maybe whoever did that study (1)

internerdj (1319281) | more than 5 years ago | (#27570329)

So I should use Flicker, message boards, IM, youtube, and email, instead of just using Facebook?

Re:Maybe whoever did that study (1)

x78 (1099371) | more than 5 years ago | (#27570081)

I'd hardly say that everyone using Facebook is an idiot!
Almost everybody I know from my uni uses Facebook, it's pretty handy as an event reminder and for keeping in contact with everyone, much easier than keeping a list of emails, and I wouldn't call most of these people idiots!
Perhaps the Myspace comment stands though ;) It's always seemed to me that the uni folk use Facebook and those that dropped out in year x use bebo / myspace. YMMV :)

Re:Maybe whoever did that study (1)

james.m.henderson (1491189) | more than 5 years ago | (#27570099)

I have seen both myspace and facebook and would suggest that myspace is significantly worse than facebook in terms of crud. Of course youtube comments trump both of them.

Who said correlation implies causation? (5, Informative)

chebucto (992517) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569713)

The author didn't say that facebook causes lower grades, they said facebook users have lower grades.

Read the following (from the summary!) closely:

'I'm just saying that there's some kind of relationship there, and there's many third variables that need to be studied.' One hypothesis is that students who spend more time enjoying themselves rather than studying might tend to latch onto the nearest distraction, such as Facebook or that students who use the social networking site might also spend more time on other non-studying activities such as sports or music. 'It may be that if it wasn't for Facebook, some students would still find other ways to avoid studying, and would still get lower grades. But perhaps the lower GPAs could actually be because students are spending too much time socializing online.'

Re:Who said correlation implies causation? (2, Informative)

ciderVisor (1318765) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569887)

and there's many third variables that need to be studied

So there's a third, fourth, fifth, sixth, etc.......variable that needs to be studied.

Re:Who said correlation implies causation? (4, Insightful)

alexhard (778254) | more than 5 years ago | (#27570169)

I seriously doubt there is any causal link between facebook and lower grades. I'm pretty sure that simply adding IQ to the regression would explain everything: low iqs: facebook account & low grades, high iqs: no facebook account & high grades.

When everyone is special, no one is special (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569589)

How can it be that everyone has a greater than 3.0 GPA?

I mean, I benefited from grade inflation in college, but it never pulled me over 3.0...

Re:When everyone is special, no one is special (2, Interesting)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569623)

It's not that hard, 1 A and 1 B is a 3.5 right there. Heck an A and a C is a 3.0. Most companies these days have a 3.0 minimum before they'll even look at your Resume/CV.

Maybe smart kids are less likely to be social and have friends so they aren't on Facebook? Why isn't the causation/correlation defined that way?

Re:When everyone is special, no one is special (1)

Smidge207 (1278042) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569907)

Wasn't Facebook created by Harvard students? I wonder what their GPAs were.

Its easy to just think that facebook users have lower GPAs. But in reality, this study will probably show that higher-GPAs tend to mean reduced social interaction, even when that interaction is with 3000 "friends" you've never even met. Like the article says, facebook users probably just have other interests, and apparently school work isn't a top priority. The GPAs would be just a low without Facebook.

Re:When everyone is special, no one is special (1)

linzeal (197905) | more than 5 years ago | (#27570033)

In mechanical and electrical engineering at least it is more important the projects you have seen to completion, your internships and professional references than your GPA. GPA for people graduating in the past 10 years or so is way inflated and companies I have worked for know it and we use it as a metric of last resort. Any asshole can get a 3.5 GPA nowadays, it is built into people choosing some schools over others but what is lacking is real world experience and initiative on doing your own projects. Want to know what we look for first when hiring? Patent applications and research papers and how often those are cited but we do not hire undergrads typically because they are too much of an unknown.

Do companies really care what your GPA is when they are hiring for CS?

Re:When everyone is special, no one is special (4, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#27570109)

Maybe smart kids are less likely to be social and have friends so they aren't on Facebook?

Why do you necessarily correlate being social and having friends with being on Facebook? I am not on Facebook and don't feel any loss because I see most of my friends in person, for example at salsa and tango classes or at the weekly pub quiz a few of us attend, or at parties. Oh, and I have a PhD in Computer Science, and got the a first class honours undergraduate degree, which is roughly equivalent to a 3.5 - 4.0 GPA in the US system. When I was an undergraduate, I was involved in several student societies (I was on the executive committees for three of them, including being president of two), and didn't use any of the social networks that were popular back then.

Re:When everyone is special, no one is special (5, Interesting)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569683)

How can it be that everyone has a greater than 3.0 GPA?

Well, first off, it's Ohio State.

Second, this sounds like the kind of "study" done for a sociology class. Plenty of inflated grades among people who take Soc 101.

Third, it was a survey. It'd be interesting to see if there's a correlation between not using Facebook and lying about your GPA :).

Re:When everyone is special, no one is special (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 5 years ago | (#27570001)

Is it really inflated grades, or is it that some courses just happen to be easy? I know a couple courses in university where the class got universal A+'s (90%). Ok, not everybody, but well over 70% of the class, basically anybody who put any effort into the course. I also know some professors who didn't like the look of everyone getting A+, so they made a statement that nobody will get an A, and that everyone will get a B or lower. Which can really mess with your scholarships and stuff. There's also no reason that by 4th year, once you've weeded out all the people who don't really want to be there anyway, that you can't have classes where everyone scores pretty well. And it's funny that you pick on SOC 101, because I've found that those courses, with subjective answers and essays to write are much harder to get A+ in than courses like physics or math where you can be pretty much assured of having the right answer.

Re:When everyone is special, no one is special (2, Interesting)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#27570217)

Maybe it's a semantics thing... if the courses are too easy, they result in inflated grades. That's what grade inflation is.

In my experience, any 100 or 200 level class was easy, unless it was picked to be a "weeder" class (like organic chem). Then it was still easy, but required some effort.

I found that soc 101 & 102 were a joke, but maybe it's because writing is easy for me. Maybe those classes just played to my strengths.

Once I hit the 300s and 400s, classes were a bit harder (especially classes with instructors to whom English was brand new [pharmacokinetics especially])... but on a lark, I took some English lit 300-level classes, and they were jokes too.

some programs really are easier than others, and result in grade inflation.

Re:When everyone is special, no one is special (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27570137)

"Well, first off, it's Ohio State"

Yes let's be sure to clarify. It's Ohio State, the same university which:

* Leads all universities, public and private, in terms of the number of fellows belonging to AAAS, the largest scientific organization in the world.
* Ranks 9th of all public universities in terms of sponsored research (source: NSF)
* Has a hospital which ranks among the best 3% nationally (source: US News)
* Boasts the 10th best business school of all public universities (source: US News)
* You'll find 25,999 beautiful coeds on the Columbus campus alone (source: osu.edu)

So yes, it's that Ohio State.

Re:When everyone is special, no one is special (1)

Talderas (1212466) | more than 5 years ago | (#27570177)

I don't know, I considered Soc 101 to be a pretty blow off class. Maybe that was because it was taught mostly to business majors. I was at a point where I asked the prof what days had in class assignments and when the tests were and only showed up those days and managed to get near perfect scores in that class. I also ruined the curve on ever exam, so I think I pissed off a number of the students by barely showing up and fouling up the curve for them.

Re:When everyone is special, no one is special (1)

ph0rk (118461) | more than 5 years ago | (#27570251)

If you'd RTFA you'd see the study author is an "education researcher".

Quite a few rungs down the social science status ladder from sociology.

Re:When everyone is special, no one is special (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27570331)

And besides, what's wrong with getting a 3.0? I'd rather work with a grad that has a 3.0 and social skills than a 4.0 who hides in the corner.

Look at that another way... (3, Insightful)

onion2k (203094) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569613)

People without social lives don't use social networks.

Re:Look at that another way... (5, Interesting)

Swizec (978239) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569699)

Even people without social lives per se use social networks online. It's the boring brutes who can't see a hair past their GPA (and are the only ones to actually care about it) that nobody wants to socialise with and thus locking them into a perpetual circle of academic exelence at the cost of inability to operate in real life.

I bet most successful CEO's, politicans, lawyers and other impressively successful types would use social networks a lot if they existed way back when. However, I'm sure most of their accountants and other people with great GPA's wouldn't.

Networking - it's been here forever.

Re:Look at that another way... (0, Redundant)

Weeksauce (1410753) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569847)

This is why the average millionares GPA was only a 2.92.

Re:Look at that another way... (2, Interesting)

Weeksauce (1410753) | more than 5 years ago | (#27570041)

This is why the average millionares GPA is only a 2.92. You don't need to be smart to be rich.

Slackers (2, Interesting)

dj245 (732906) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569881)

To me, this is the same question as "Does marijuana make you unmotivated, or are unmotivated people more likely to enjoy marijuana?" This is based on the unproven assumption that people who smoke marijuana tend to be unmotivated.

Re:Slackers (4, Funny)

ciderVisor (1318765) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569945)

Marijuana motivates me to raid the fridge and listen to Pink Floyd.

Re:Slackers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27570147)

dude, bring me back some beer and chips.

Re:Slackers (2, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#27570083)

Unmotivated? You should see a few friends of mine when they're high and no food in the house. If you ever wanted to redecorate, invite them over, give them what they want and then tell them there's a box of oreos hidden somewhere in your apartment.

You just gotta give people the right kind of motivation. I.e. that kind that motivates them.

More BS Stats (0, Redundant)

s31523 (926314) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569639)

OK, the article provides no details on sample size or how the survey was conducted, so I call BS. How were the samples chosen and how many people and from only one university, c'mon! If some survey was done outside the remedial center versus in the advanced studies lab then I expect discrepancies. I really hate to see statistics used to claim correlations that may not be there because someone "did a study".

Re:More BS Stats (1)

jgardner100 (559892) | more than 5 years ago | (#27570013)

Yep, if they can't even quote the basic statistics behind the study then it's obvious BS. I joined facebook recently, does that mean my grade rate will plummet ? That's a bit difficult when I've already graduated with honours.

Re:More BS Stats (1)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 5 years ago | (#27570107)

There very probably is a correlation. More socially active students are probably more likely to be on facebook, and probably get measurably worse grades.

But I don't imagine that academic rigor is the top priority at a school where the average student makes a 3.5-4.0.

-Peter

Re:More BS Stats (1, Troll)

s31523 (926314) | more than 5 years ago | (#27570265)

Again, you are using statistics speak when there is no basis for it. You say "probably" but you have no basis for that other than that is your opinion. A correlation only exists if one thing has an effect on the other. If it is a coincidence that only the "cool" "not-so-smart" kids flock to facebook and then claim 'hey the average grade of facebook users is poor', that is not a correlation, that is, using facebook is not effecting grades, its not studying that is the real cause! If you could prove that facebook itself causes significant grade discrepancies then there would be a correlation. A better title of this sensationalist crap article would be: "Study shows kids who goof off get worse grades than those who don't".

Re:More BS Stats (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27570135)

You do realize that you're reading an article intended for the general public on the study, right? If you want all the details, read the research report. That you can't seem to grasp that (and got modded up in the process) is befuddling.

RTFS (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27570189)

Could you at least RTFSummary before spouting?

Karpinski emphasized that correlation does not equal causation and that the grades association could be caused by something else. 'I'm just saying that there's some kind of relationship there, and there's many third variables that need to be studied.'

In other words, nobody is claiming that Facebook is causing bad grades (yet) and you are attacking a Straw Man.

Interesting comment in the linked article (2, Interesting)

internerdj (1319281) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569647)

"Who is a non-user?" Facebook has become a very common thing. How big is the sample set of non-users compared to users? Is there any relevant personality trends that run through those who refuse to use Facebook?

College may soon be Facebook U (5, Funny)

xzvf (924443) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569667)

With the proliferation of online degrees and most people moving their social interaction to social networking sites, college may soon be an extension of Facebook. 50 years from now Facebook University may be the most prestigious college in the United States. I don't know if I'm being funny or insightful, but all of a sudden I feel depressed.

Re:College may soon be Facebook U (5, Funny)

need4mospd (1146215) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569933)

I don't know if I'm being funny or insightful, but all of a sudden I feel depressed.

its ok dood. im a certefied facebook pysychiartrist thnx to my online degree w/ a 1.2 gba(hey its still passing!!!LoLZ) and i can help u fell better just post onmy wall for some help and i"ll give u ur first seccion for free since i cant find a job anyways

Ob: (1)

ciderVisor (1318765) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569995)

Don't worry scrote. There are plenty of 'tards out there living really kick ass lives. My first wife was 'tarded. She's a pilot now.

Re:College may soon be Facebook U (1)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 5 years ago | (#27570021)

its ok dood. im a certefied facebook pysychiartrist thnx to my online degree w/ a 1.2 gba(hey its still passing!!!LoLZ) and i can help u fell better just post onmy wall for some help and i"ll give u ur first seccion for free since i cant find a job anyways

No, the really sad part is if we continue to lower the standards with each and every generation that comes along, THIS guy will be able to land a job, mainly because the idiot who hired him was his e-roommate in "college" and boasts a 2.5GPA...

Re:College may soon be Facebook U (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27569963)

I'd say insightful.

The cost of schooling is enormous. There was once a series of essays that said that college/university is essentially a way to let the rich keep the money in their families. The poor could not afford higher education so would be condemned to lower incomes. There are enough counter-examples, at least in the past, to say that this is not true. With scholarship and grants available based both on merit and financial need, there are many lower income who can receive a great education.

Alas, the cost of higher education is growing much faster than wages. I personally know at least four kids who are putting off college/university because they cannot afford it. I know two others, of equal academic background, that aren't delaying because their parents can afford it.

Online schooling can erase some of these barriers. With open texts the textbook scam can be stopped. Kids will no longer need to compete on finances, but on intelligence and hard work. Wonder why this is scary for so many people???

PS.. I write this as a kid from a very humble background who "made it" and truly want to see others make it too.

Re:College may soon be Facebook U (1)

lazyforker (957705) | more than 5 years ago | (#27570163)

Who the hell would want to graduate from FU?

Ummm... (1)

ah.clem (147626) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569685)

You really expect those Facebook using clowns to cop to their 1.8 GPA?

Career path (1)

Khan (19367) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569727)

Sounds like Facebook users have a future career in Marketing :-)

Scott Adams wrote the truth when Dibert was sent to the Marketing dept: "Marketing.....2 drink minimum"

Survey those who drink vs those who don't too! (1)

Mr. Aexo (1056160) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569755)

This just in: People with social skills generally do worse in their education than people who have no life and study all the time.

Re:Survey those who drink vs those who don't too! (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#27570117)

Counterproof: I have zero social skills and my grades still sucked.

You needn't be social to be a slacker. It helps, but if you're really dedicated, you can find other ways to waste your time. Even before the time of Facebook and MMOs, we kids knew how to avoid studying. Kids today have it way too good, we even had to come up with our own things if we didn't want to study, they get everything handed today, from games to videos to social pages.

Now get offa my lawn!

Maybe nerds just don't socialize that much? (0, Redundant)

mc1138 (718275) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569763)

Could it be that the same quiet kids in high school that kept to themselves, studied and did well in school, are the same kids that are less likely to get into anything with the word social in it? I think its just more likely that facebook attracts the social people who spend less time worrying about schooling, and shows no interest to the people who are brainy loners.

Re:Maybe nerds just don't socialize that much? (1)

homer_s (799572) | more than 5 years ago | (#27570015)

Yes - you nailed it.
This is the same problem with studies that "show" that high-school/college graduates make more than dropouts. There are plenty of race-discrimination "studies" with the same problem.

Read Howard Gardner (1)

rlseaman (1420667) | more than 5 years ago | (#27570027)

One doubts the reliability of the study - after all, one of the investigators is on Facebook!

"Could it be that the same quiet kids in high school that kept to themselves, studied and did well in school, are the same kids that are less likely to get into anything with the word social in it? I think its just more likely that facebook attracts the social people who spend less time worrying about schooling, and shows no interest to the people who are brainy loners."

Many on slashdot will have pertinent experience here - from my own pointed experience it is obvious that loners are more desperate than they are uninterested about socializing. The "brainy loners" are going to be the ones who social networking fails. They seem very likely to be among the first who try to make Facebook work. Their nascent social networks will simply die on the vine.

The operative quote is not "correlation does not imply causation". The operative quote is "you can lead a horse to water, ..."

One doubts the reliability of the study - but if there is any validity here, it is likely that the most highly socially skilled individuals avoid gimmicks and build their own networks, extending their own influence over the world directly. Interpersonal skill is another type of braininess.

Like Hendrix said, "Gimmicks, here we go again, gimmicks man..."

Re:Maybe nerds just don't socialize that much? (1)

mathx314 (1365325) | more than 5 years ago | (#27570223)

I think its just more likely that facebook attracts the social people who spend less time worrying about schooling, and shows no interest to the people who are brainy loners.

QFT. That said, I have a hard time believing the article simply because of the fact that, as a college freshman, I know literally no one at my school without a Facebook. We even know a few of the reclusive studying types and they also have Facebooks. There seems to not even be correlation, let alone causation.

Re:Maybe nerds just don't socialize that much? (1)

mc1138 (718275) | more than 5 years ago | (#27570299)

I suppose that to really look at the correlation you'd have to look at a lot of schools as different trends will show up in different environments. Tech Schools versus Liberal Arts etc. On the other hand I have a friend who's very anti social, but also isn't really very interested in studying either.

The correlation (1)

digitalderbs (718388) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569783)

there's many third variables that need to be studied

It would appear that Karpinski is a heavy facebook user.

Water (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27569787)

...is wet

Well done Facebook (1)

system1111 (1527561) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569795)

Facebook is simply doing its part to combat grade inflation! However I still think its losing...

In related news... (1)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569809)

...a new study has found that people addicted to meth have a harder time holding down a job than people who are not addicted.

C'mon, seriously? We needed a study to prove this? Give me a break.

Usually I can support a study if it would actually make a difference. Given the general level of ignorance and lack of common sense in young adults these days, this will have about as much of an impact as trying to convince them that texting while driving is bad.

Re:In related news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27569911)

This just in! Easily distracted people are easily distracted! That's all this says to me. It'd be the same if they tested for having a chat program running or a video game system or a window looking on to a busy street or a....ooo look shiny things!

Re:In related news... (1)

Khan (19367) | more than 5 years ago | (#27570063)

What an appropriate and outstanding signature you have. And unfortunately, it's true :-(

Just Facebook? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27569825)

"For me, I think the Internet is a huge distraction."

Fixed that for you.

Cool ? (1)

b0ttle (1332811) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569859)

Isn't getting lower grades in the US considered cool?

At least that's the image the rest of the world have, people who get higher grades are unpopular nerds, that always get trapped in the locker by the athletes and never have a date.

Re:Cool ? (1)

ciderVisor (1318765) | more than 5 years ago | (#27570123)

Thinking that getting lower grades makes you cool isn't normal. ...but on Meth it is !

Summary of study and conclusions: (0, Redundant)

jimbudncl (1263912) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569875)

A-Duh! C'mon, like, really? Wait, what what the article about?...

(my Facebook user id is 3 digits)

It's the smart kids fault (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27569891)

It's the smart kids fault, they're bringing down the GPA average by not using Facebook... gawd... so annoying.

If only they would join, then we'd all look better, but no, they have to stay home and study wikipedia all day so they can no all the facts who cares about that, where's the party at - that's the important stuff.

Ahem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27569905)

That would be "THE Ohio State University".

Other Distractions (4, Insightful)

leroybrown (136516) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569921)

I managed to kill a LOT of time during my first shot at college in the early 90's playing Super Tecmo Bowl, practicing for the dorms' Street Fighter 2 tournament, and hanging out on BBS's (I had one of three computers in the 150 room dorm). Had the intertubes and Facebook been around at the time I'd have been killing time on there. When it came down to it I was just unprepared for college so after getting kicked out at the end of my second year, I took a year off to work and learn how much minimum wage sucks, then went back for a second attempt with a better perspective and had no problem buckling down.

Yeah well... old news... (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569925)

There is only so much time. You can prefer to improve your social skills (unfortunately completely ignored in schools, while just as important), or your logic, art or sports skills.
If I were 16 again, I'd definitely choose social skills. No reason in being the best programmer in the known universe, when your can't even procreate. :(
Even worse, when you are not the best one in the known universe. ^^

Don't know, John Romero claims to be the best (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 5 years ago | (#27570159)

And seeing as he made everyone who played Daikatana his bitch, I presume at least some of them were female and so he had a chance at pro-creating. What you mean nobody but me played Daikatana?

MUDs and GPA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27569951)

Ha! That is nothing. Back in the MUD days we failed 110% vs. those who didn't play.

What's the average? (1)

ukyoCE (106879) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569953)

I actually R'dTFA to check, and it doesn't seem to mention what the average grades are for the total population.

Saying "Facebook users get 3.0-3.5, non-users get 3.5-4.0" means something very different if the average is 3.25, versus if the average of all users is 3.75. Are facebooker users dumber than your average student, or are the few users who don't have a facebook account smarter than the average student?

slashdot users next....? (1)

pimanlives (1393805) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569977)

Maybe their next study will involve slashdot users. If the correlation suggests no social skills = high GPA, then we must all have 4.0's right ???

A comparison could be illuminating (5, Interesting)

hwyhobo (1420503) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569981)

Pity the study did not compare the grades of students who used other social network sites. It might possibly be that Facebook attracted people of lower learning ability than some other sites did. Studying those relationships could be interesting.

same as (1)

nimbius (983462) | more than 5 years ago | (#27570035)

students who play video games, students who watch too much tv, students who eat junkfood, students who do drugs, students who
stay up too late, students who listen to heavy metal...

i question not the correlation between facebook and GPA, but the correlation between GPA and overall intelligence.

Those GPA numbers seem reall high .... (1)

ElSupreme (1217088) | more than 5 years ago | (#27570047)

Those GPAs are ALL above 'Dean's List' at Georgia Tech. I didn't use facebook at all during college (GT got it my freshman year, first expansion I think) and still didn't come close to a 3.5, or even a 3.0. I can't see how colleges give out an average GPA above a B. Are colleges turning into public schools and just giving people 'A's?

I busted my ass at Georgia Tech, took an average of 18+ hours, and graduated in 8 semesters in mechanical engineering (which is virtually unheard of, it is a defacto 5 year program for all engineering degrees) with a 2.2ish GPA. Which is really more of a testament of the classes I failed because I didn't have to pass them that semester to stay on track (and I didn't drop anything) and my NO HOMEWORK policy (which basically started me at a 'B' or 'C' in every single class I took). I also spent almost every weekend racing bicycles for Georgia Tech, and drinking copious amounts of beer.

But out of all the people I know who took engineering at Tech, I can only think of 2 who were even close to the 3.5 mark. And those are the only people who I know were above the 3.0 mark.

Maybe I just went to the wrong school. But everyone CAN'T get 'A's can they?

Re:Those GPA numbers seem reall high .... (1)

azaris (699901) | more than 5 years ago | (#27570317)

I busted my ass at Georgia Tech, took an average of 18+ hours, and graduated in 8 semesters in mechanical engineering (which is virtually unheard of, it is a defacto 5 year program for all engineering degrees) with a 2.2ish GPA. Which is really more of a testament of the classes I failed because I didn't have to pass them that semester to stay on track (and I didn't drop anything) and my NO HOMEWORK policy (which basically started me at a 'B' or 'C' in every single class I took). I also spent almost every weekend racing bicycles for Georgia Tech, and drinking copious amounts of beer.

That sounds like you didn't work hard at all and graduated with very average grades. Is it surprising someone who actually does their homework and doesn't spend all their weekends on extra-curricular activities can get better grades?

Because grades do not reflect social IQ? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27570077)

You do not get graded for social skills but for your ability to reproduce knowledge.

Also - twitter makes you amoral (1)

wjousts (1529427) | more than 5 years ago | (#27570089)

Can Twitter Make You Amoral? Rapid-fire Media May Confuse Your Moral Compass [sciencedaily.com]

The study raises questions about the emotional cost-particularly for the developing brain-of heavy reliance on a rapid stream of news snippets obtained through television, online feeds or social networks such as Twitter.

My experience as a parent (2, Insightful)

wytten (163159) | more than 5 years ago | (#27570101)

'It may be that if it wasn't for Facebook, some students would still find other ways to avoid studying, and would still get lower grades.'

That fits my experience as a parent exactly. I've found that if you deny your children access to one distraction, they will just find another.

That hour or two is all you really need anyway (1)

kiwizoid (1531455) | more than 5 years ago | (#27570129)

I'm by no means an avid Facebook user, but this article doesn't surprise me. Even inside of lectures, you'd be hard pressed to find someone's laptop that isn't on Facebook (with ESPN in a close second). The sad thing is, even though the article says they only spend 1-5 hours per week studying, that's all you need to survive and be moderately successful in a class anyway. I was surprised to learn a couple months ago that a girl who frequently shows up to history lectures high, drunk, or doesn't show up at all, got a higher score than I did on the midterm for the class. Her response was something along the lines of "Wow! I only crammed for about an hour before the test started!" (for those curious, the score was a high-80. Not bad at all considering her attendance/attention rate)

TAs and whoever else can warn that cramming does more harm than good and doesn't lead to long-term retention of the information, but most of the students don't want long-term retention of dates and other errata. They only have to actually pay attention to the review session (if available) and then cram for an hour and bam, they've got themselves a respectable score on an exam. And the rest of the time? Well, I guess they can just hang out on Facebook.

The Party Crowd (1)

paynety (1532225) | more than 5 years ago | (#27570131)

I don't think the use of facebook has anything to do with these stats. Look at the types of people on facebook. Who are you more likely to find with a facebook account? The guy you see at every college party or the kid who spends 6 hours a night in the library. Facebook has become a place for college students to invite people to parties, post photos from those parties and contact others trying to find out what happened the previous night at those parties. Don't believe me? Look through a few photo albums from Public University Students. Maybe instead they should do a study on how drinking effects GPA.

Re:The Party Crowd (1)

Godskitchen (1017786) | more than 5 years ago | (#27570255)

affects

This just in: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27570181)

People Who Get Lower Grades In College Use Facebook.

I have to agree (1)

prograde (1425683) | more than 5 years ago | (#27570205)

Actually, I completely agree with this. Facebook is a huge distraction, and I don't allow myself to check it at all during the work day.

Slashdot, on the other hand...if only I could stop checking Slashdot, I could get some real work done!

.

moms too? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27570215)

In related news, Facebook mom's ignore their children. Newsworthy?

More details (2, Insightful)

reg106 (256893) | more than 5 years ago | (#27570229)

More details on the study are available in this news item from OSU [osu.edu] .

Many variables are not considered directly in the analysis (at least in the brief writeup). For example, the sample has more grad students than undergrads, and grad students were found to be less likely to use Facebook. But grad students are selected from academic high(er) achievers, and graduate courses are generally graded with a higher curve than undergrad courses. That alone could explain the correlation. So why do less grad students use Facebook? Perhaps age plays a role (since not so long ago, Facebook was targeted only at undergrads). Similar arguments could be made regarding STEM students, who are more likely to use Facebook, but (I suspect) are also more likely to have lower undergrad GPAs. It is very difficult to compare GPAs across disciplines without controlling for the mean GPA.

Small Data Set (1)

DorkRawk (719109) | more than 5 years ago | (#27570245)

Where did they find enough college students who don't use Facebook to get an accurate data set?

Not Surprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27570267)

I remember the study that they did on search engines. They found out that Google users tended heavily towards Hip, wealthy and/or intelligent, Yahoo Users tended to be the stodgy older adults, and MS users were the poor and typically uneducated users. It made perfect sense.
 
  Google and Yahoo was for ppl that could at least change things AND liked change. Likewise, Yahoo was bigger in the late 90's so many of the supporters had come in from then and really did not want to learn something again (typical of older folks). MS was not picked, but was simply the default and could not be changed out by the uneducated, or simply slower folks. For many MS users, they are just lucky to not sic the cat on the mouse.

Face book is like that. The users are kids, and now older women, that are bored in life and want diversion, rather than to live life. Of course, I wonder if that is also not true of /. posters.

but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27570287)

But I know from experience they are much better in bed.

Good FA (1)

cvd6262 (180823) | more than 5 years ago | (#27570291)

Wait until this hits the MSM: "Researchers warn: Facebook lowers grades!"

The article was well written and avoided the correlation/causation fallacy that so many socialtech studies (or at least their reports) fall into.

That disconnect between perception and reality does not necessarily mean that Facebook leads to less studying and worse grades -- the grades association could be caused by something else. However, it does raise more questions about how students spend their time outside class on activities such as Facebook, part-time jobs and extracurricular activities.

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