Smartphones: A cause of brain drain?

Smartphones are making you dumb and stupid: A new study claims

Nowadays, there is literally no one who doesn't have a smartphone. People use it as an extension of themselves, and the connectivity it gives a sense of comfort.

Smartphone Brain Drain

But an article published in Science Dialy, reports about a recent study made by Adrian Ward; Assistant Professor at McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas and his team, found that a smartphone within reach or easy sight, even if it is switched off can reduce the brain's ability to focus and perform tasks.

Ward comment that “We see a linear trend that suggests that as the smartphone becomes more noticeable, participants’ available cognitive capacity decreases,”

“Your conscious mind isn’t thinking about your smartphone, but that process — the process of requiring yourself to not think about something — uses up some of your limited cognitive resources. It’s a brain drain,” addressed Ward.

The research was conducted with nearly 800 smartphone users and it was an experiment to measure, for the first time, how well people can complete tasks when they have their smartphones nearby even when they're not using them.

In one experiment, the researchers asked study participants to sit at a computer and take a series of tests that required full concentration in order to score well. The tests were geared to measure participants' available cognitive capacity; that is, the brain's ability to hold and process data at any given time.

Before beginning, participants were randomly instructed to place their smartphones either on the desk face down, in their pocket or personal bag, or in another room. All participants were instructed to turn their phones to silent.

Also Read: Digital Eyestrain and Smartphone Usage

The researchers found that participants with their phones in another room significantly outperformed those with their phones on the desk, and they also slightly outperformed those participants who had kept their phones in a pocket or bag.

The findings suggest that the mere presence of one's smartphone reduces available cognitive capacity and impairs cognitive functioning, even though people feel they're giving their full attention and focus to the task at hand.

In another experiment, Participants performed the same series of computer-based tests as the first group and were randomly assigned to keep their smartphones either in sight on the desk face up, in a pocket or bag, and the researcher's found that this group performed worse compared with their less-dependent peers.

After the research, Adrian Ward concludes that "It's not that participants were distracted because they were getting notifications on their phones," and he added, "The mere presence of their smartphone was enough to reduce their cognitive capacity."

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Last updated on 26-06-2017. Published on 26-06-2017.
Published by Mobiles4Sale in category News
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