University study links smartphone use to laziness

University study links smartphone use to laziness
No doubt about it, smartphones are amazingly handy tools to have around. However, a research study conducted by the University of Waterloo – yes the same Waterloo that is home to the headquarters of the iconic smartphone maker, BlackBerry – indicates that these computers are focal points of laziness with otherwise intuitive thinkers.

“They may look up information that they actuallyt know or could easily learn, but are unwilling to make the effort to actually think about it,” according to a co-author of the study, Gordon Pennycook.

Basically, this study vindicates previous research that says humans are eager to avoid exerting too much effort when it comes to problem-solving. Intuitive thinkers, those that rely on “gut feelings” in their decision making tend to lean on their smartphone’s search engine more often than those who think analytically or strategically.

Examining three separate studies that involved 660 participants, the researchers at Waterloo looked at varying cognitive measurements, intuitive and analytical thought processes, as well as verbal and quantitative expression skills. After compiling that data, the researchers looked at each participant’s smartphone usage habits.

Long story short, those with stronger cognitive abilities and a penchant for analytical thought were less likely to use their smartphones’ search-engine to assist with the problem solving process.

Mr. Pennycook, a Ph.D candidate, takes the observation to the next level, “Our research provides support for an association between heavy smartphone use and lowered intelligence. Whether smartphones actually decrease intelligence is still an open question that requires future research.”

Given how much developed society relies on this technology today, and how likely it is that relationship is only going to grow in the future, Nathaniel Barr, the other co-author of the Waterloo report points out the need to understand that relationship better, “It's important to understand how smartphones affect and relate to human psychology before these technologies are so fully ingrained that it's hard to recall what life was like without them. We may already be at that point.”

For those wondering if their social status is eating away at their grey matter, the good news is that the research does not seem to indicate that use of social media applications, or entertainment applications correlates to increased or degraded cognitive abilities.

source: Science Daily



1. techperson211

Posts: 1280; Member since: Feb 27, 2014

Yeah especially kids these days are being drawn to playing alone never knew what is the true meaning of socializing and making true friends.

3. Hashed unregistered

Agree, back in the days when I was a kid, I used to play with other kids in the neighborhood, we all had skateboards (I miss my Powell Peralta board)... now it's all PS and Xbox, and the virtual world of online gaming and online friends.

5. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

Yup... Video games were a luxury then. We couldn't afford even the 8bit console but i didn't worry cause friends are who i ran to everyday. Go play in the streets, play hide and seek, play cop and thief, I strongly discourage kids using phones or tablets.

2. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

I've been lamenting about this for a while. I'm not "old", but I graduated high school without the aid of google, wikipedia, autocorrect (or the red squiggly line). Had to go to the public library to get on the internet. It's truly amazing that the wealth of the world's knowledge can fit in our pocket. But it's going to make the next generation of people dumb. Not because they can't think or reason or remember things, but because we don't have to anymore. That's OK though. They'll make good fodder when the zombie apocalypse comes, what with the obesity, type 2 diabetes, and measles.

4. medtxa

Posts: 1655; Member since: Jun 02, 2014

So the point is smarter people use search engine less..duh. That doesn't mean people who often use search-engine to solve problems become dumber right?

6. LikeMyself

Posts: 631; Member since: Sep 23, 2013

The true plague is that the fixing of these bright screens too near and for long periods damage the eyes and the optic nerves damaging the visual areas of the brain which in turn damage the problem solving ability of the brain since the eye gives the raw information to the brain! It's like a chain reaction! We become more lazy and retarded! A solution to this would be to drink plenty of water to have a good fluid circulation in the body!

7. shahrooz

Posts: 792; Member since: Sep 17, 2013

Our kids are not meant to be raised like this.

8. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3168; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

Didn't need a university study for this. I could've told them for free. Computers are supposed to assist us, not do the jobs for us. Kids today are not being taught critical thinking skills and have zero coping skills. Just how Massa wants it.

9. Redtooth

Posts: 2; Member since: Mar 10, 2015

Why would anyone even have the need to have a study to figure out if smartphones make people lazy? It don't take a rocket scientist or a lazy ass couch potato to figure this one out that, smartphones do in fact without a doubt and without any need to have a study on the simple obvious fact that smartphones make anyone or everyone using them for a substantial amount of time or even just a small limited amount of time makes everyone that owns one super ultra lazy. I just wonder how much time and money they spent coming to this conclusion. I wonder if they learned anything new by conducting the study and if they think they helped the public by releasing this super confidential and ground breaking information by releasing the results. I bet everyone that took part in the study were really lazy.

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