Being near your smartphone makes you stupider, study finds

Being near your smartphone makes you stupider, study finds

We all knew that we’ve been slowly nurturing an addiction to our smartphones, but researchers at the University of Texas at Austin have further concluded that simply being in close proximity to our phones is having adverse effects on our cognitive abilities. Using a sample size of nearly 800 phone users, the study examined "the brain's ability to hold and process data at any given time."


Subjects were selected at random to either place their phone face down in front of them, inside their pocket, or in another room – all of which were instructed to put their devices on silent. Researchers then administered a series of computer-based tests which measured attentiveness, memory, and problem-solving skills.


According to the study, “comparisons revealed that participants in the ‘other room’ condition found it significantly easier to remember information in [these tasks] relative to participants in the ‘desk’ condition and marginally easier relative to those in the ‘pocket/bag’ condition.” The data also points out that, though the difference in ability is apparent, the perceived difficulty of these tasks remained the same for all groups – in other words, participants in the “desk condition” were unaware of the detriment the phone’s presence had evidently caused them.



In essence, the addiction to our phones has become so embedded that, even unconsciously, our brains must fight to avoid thinking about them or checking them for notifications.



Thankfully, the study reports that we’re not necessarily all hopelessly addicted or cognitively compromised. Subjects were also asked a series of exploratory questions “intended to assess individual differences in use of and connection to one’s smartphone.” The findings show that the observed decline in cognitive ability was directly related to an individual’s pre-existing, (relatively) higher observed level of emotional attachment and dependence on the device. How the scale between attachment and indifference is measured proves tougher to specify than this pre-experiment survey endeavored to establish, however one thing seems to ring true: out of sight, out of mind.


Check the source link below for the full study from the University of Texas at Austin.


source: Journal of the Assocations for Consumer Research via CNET



1. MrShazam

Posts: 987; Member since: Jun 22, 2017

Hmm, that might explain the behaviour of many authors on some of phone tech websites.

14. Settings

Posts: 2943; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

Plus majority of smartphone users are iPhone users, so it figures.

2. Plasticsh1t

Posts: 3094; Member since: Sep 01, 2014

Trump participated in the research?

4. Soundjudgment

Posts: 370; Member since: Oct 10, 2016

He looks so... so... studious!

5. Plasticsh1t

Posts: 3094; Member since: Sep 01, 2014

He's a pond of wisdom.

3. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3948; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Wasn't there a study that said the opposite, something like being away from their phone made some people nervous and agitated and they were unable to focus because of it.

6. Flash

Posts: 1972; Member since: May 19, 2017

That explains some of the Shamesung users.

7. Plasticsh1t

Posts: 3094; Member since: Sep 01, 2014

What did they do?

8. TechNeck

Posts: 648; Member since: Aug 29, 2014

That explains your redudnant insults.

13. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Says someone who makes love with his iPhone every night.

9. Rock_Hardwood

Posts: 117; Member since: May 11, 2015

aint gonna read a stupid article with a pic like that

10. Rock_Hardwood

Posts: 117; Member since: May 11, 2015

you could have put up a pic of kim kardashian

11. gehrig

Posts: 423; Member since: Apr 17, 2014

Stupider? REALLY?

12. Podrick

Posts: 1284; Member since: Aug 19, 2015

Now that explains the behaviour of people like Mxyzptlk, cnour, kumar123, TechieXP, Piyath, snakeboy etc. Inserting their phones inside themselves seem to have higher effect.

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