The study is titled "A Description of Facebook Use and Academic Performance Among Undergraduate and Graduate Students," and has already garnered a great deal of media attention since its release on Monday. The author, 27-year-old Aryn Karpinsky, is a bit overwhelmed by all of the interest.
"Oh my gosh, I am a doctoral student," Karpinski told TechNewsWorld. "I've never had any exposure like this. It's completely new to me. This is not even my dissertation topic. I may have to put that aside for a while."
The following are some of Karpinsky’s findings, as reported by TechNewsWorld:
* Facebook users in Karpinski's study average grade point averages of 3.0-3.5. Non-Facebook users: 3.5.-4.0.
* Facebook users averaged 1-5 hours a week studying; non-users, 11-15 hours per week.
* Seventy-nine percent of those who said they used the social networking site said it did not impact their grades or study habits.
* Eighty-five percent of undergrads in the survey said they had a Facebook page; 52 percent of the graduate students had accounts.
* The group most likely to use Facebook: Those majoring in science, technology, math, engineering and business.
Karpinsky, however, is the first to point out the limitations of her study. "I acknowledge the limitations of the study, and of course the media's not going to put that in there," she told TechNewsWorld. "The correlational aspects, the small size of the study -- I'm in a statistics program, I'm not oblivious to these things."
She also pointed out that “anything that takes away from study time may correlate with your GPA. I do put that in my explanation and in my paper. If it wasn't Facebook, it might be something else. Every generation of college students has its major distractors. When I was an undergrad, it was AOL.”