Your Smartphone Is Calling Your Name


smartphoneYour smartphone offers virtually unlimited access to information, entertainment, and other diversions, but researchers have learned that all this may come at a cognitive cost. A study published in the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research found that smartphones may hijack users’ attention – even when they’re hidden away.

The study revealed that the mere presence of a mobile device can co-opt a person’s cognitive resources and decrease available mental capacity, undercutting intellectual performance and leaving fewer cerebral resources available for other thinking tasks.

Study author and University of Texas psychologist Adrian Ward and his colleagues used memory and attention tests to find that, although powered off, smartphones still reduced volunteers’ working memory and problem-solving ability.

It seems we just can’t stop thinking about our phones, and even a vague awareness of them can sap our brain’s energy. Given that smartphones are everywhere today, these findings have significant implications for learning, creativity, and other intellectual endeavors.

So put them away. Way away.