Phones and Thinking (07-10-17)

If they’re nearby, our phones effect how we think—in ways that complicate the development of workplaces where people work to their full potential—even if they’re turned off.  Researchers found that “Your cognitive capacity is significantly reduced when your smartphone is within reach — even if it’s off.  . . .  researchers asked study participants to sit at a computer and take a series of tests that required full concentration in order to score well. . . .  Before beginning, participants were randomly instructed to place their smartphones either on the desk face down, in their pocket or personal bag, or in another room. All participants were instructed to turn their phones to silent. . . . participants with their phones in another room significantly outperformed those with their phones on the desk, and they also slightly outperformed those participants who had kept their phones in a pocket or bag. The findings suggest that the mere presence of one’s smartphone reduces available cognitive capacity and impairs cognitive functioning. . . . it didn’t matter whether a person’s smartphone was turned on or off, or whether it was lying face up or face down on a desk.”

“The Mere Presence of Your Smartphone Reduces Brain Power, Study Shows.”  2017.  Press release, The University of Texas at Austin,