Study reveals that the mere presence of the smartphone leaves more dumb peopleSomething interesting that was discovered by the researchers is that no matter whether the phone is on or off; being close by, the device will drain the cognitive ability of the user.
Researchers have found that the mere presence of the smartphone is sufficient to reduce the brainpower of their owners - no matter whether the device is on or off, and even if it is in sight of the person.
The findings come from experiments conducted by the McCombs School of Business, the University of Texas at Austin. O Assistant Professor Adrian Ward, with the help of other researchers, studied almost 800 smartphone users to find out how well they could perform tasks when the device was available.
In one of the experiments, participants should sit in front of a computer and perform a series of tests that would require full attention. The idea was to measure the availability of their cognitive abilities, that is, the brain's ability to obtain and process data at any time.
Before, however, these people received, randomly, instructions on what to do with their smartphones. All should put the device in silent, but some would leave him on the table with the screen facing down; others, in your pocket or backpack, while some of them would have to keep the device in another room.
As a result, the researchers found that those who had left the phone in another room had superior performance to other, including those who had kept the device in the backpack.
The explanation for this is that simply knowing that the phone is at hand already eat part of the cognitive ability of the person. “Your conscious mind is not thinking on your smartphone, but this process - the process of applying for yourself not to think about something - use of their limited cognitive resources”, he explained, in a statement, o professor Ward, he called it “brain drain”.
In another experiment, they questioned people regarding their dependence on smartphone, in an attempt to find out how many of them (and how strongly) believe need the device to move around normally for a day.
Participants repeated the situation of the first, but some had to shut down the smartphone. The results showed that those who reported more dependent had worse performances, but only if the phone was around (is on the table, in your pocket or backpack). That is: even those who are addicted to the smartphone could block its negative effects if the device was out of reach.
Something interesting discovered by the researchers is that no matter whether the phone is on or off; being close by, the device will drain the cognitive ability of the user. This is because part of the brain is constantly striving to not pick up the phone.
“Not that the participants were distracted because they were receiving notifications on their phones”, Ward explained. “The mere presence of your smartphone was enough to reduce their cognitive ability.”