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Sunday, July 2, 2017

As phones get smarter, we get dumber

What Not To Do      (Photo by Ed Poor)
Just as leaning too heavily on crutches can reduce muscular strength, leaning too heavily on technology can reduce cognitive strength.

A study published by The University of Chicago Press Journals concludes that “the mere presence of one’s own smartphone reduces available cognitive capacity.”  It seems that even when owners are able to resist checking their phones, the temptation to do so is nevertheless draining their brains.

When smartphones are simply within sight of their respective owners, “cognitive resources” become diverted.  This may be akin to a dish of ice cream being placed near a hungry dieter.  Chances are that the dieter won’t be mastering square roots while eyeing that sundae.

Researchers Adrian Ward, Kristen Duke, Ayelet Gneezy and Maarten Bos explain it this way:  …[cognitive] resources recruited to inhibit automatic attention to one’s phone are made unavailable for other tasks, and performance on these tasks will suffer.

It might therefore be best to hide one’s phone in the glove compartment while driving, in the desk while studying, and under the bed while tossing and turning at 3 a.m.  Works even better when you turn off the ringer… 


Copyright July 2, 2017 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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