Appetite for distraction? A systematic literature review on customer smartphone distraction

Alex Taylor*, Margurite Hook, Jamie Carlson, Siggi Gudergan, Tomas Falk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
47 Downloads (Pure)


In today's society, the ubiquitous presence of personal smartphones has led to the phenomenon of, what we call, customer smartphone distraction (CSD). This paper introduces the concept of CSD, which occurs when an internet-connected smartphone competes for a customer's attention during a consumption goal-oriented task or behavior. Based on a three-stage research process involving a systematic literature review and an expert opinion survey with a multi-disciplinary lens to better understand this phenomenon, we develop a conceptual framework underpinned by Cognitive – Affective Personality System (CAPS) Theory that incorporates the antecedents, contingency variables, and consequences of CSD. Our findings suggest that CSD is a complex phenomenon influenced by both environmental stimuli, such as audio and visual notifications, and internal psychological states, such as boredom and anxiety, which are interdependent factors that contribute to CSD. Interestingly, the absence of environmental stimuli alone may not reduce CSD. To deal with this issue, customers need to take responsibility for their consumption behavior, while businesses, society and policy makers can assist customers through better education and design of mobile device experiences. Overall, we highlight the need for a deeper understanding of CSD and its impact on customer behavior and well-being, and outline implications to assist researchers, practitioners, policy makers and society broadly to deal with CSD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102722
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Information Management
Early online date1 Nov 2023
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2024
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Customer wellbeing
  • Distraction
  • Smartphone
  • Systematic literature review


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