Who does not know it? One takes firm in the morning to finally calculate the world formula, peek “just a few times” on the smartphone and already the day is over. The constant distraction by smartphones has obviously become a real problem, as the University of Texas has now also established in a study. According to him, the sheer presence of a smartphone ensures that performance is impaired. Thus, from the brain.
In order to examine the influence of our everyday, smart companions, professors and employees of the University of Texas have conducted tests with around 800 smartphone users. In one of them the subjects were supposed to carry out tasks on a computer, which demanded them full concentration. All participants had to put their smartphone on “silent” and either lay it down on the table next to themselves, put it in the backpack or deliver it in another room.
Does the presence of smartphones affect brain performance? (Schematic representation)
As you conclusively assumed, the tester results were the worst among the people whose smartphones were lying directly on the table, followed by the pocket pots. The best results were obtained by the subjects whose devices were in the adjoining room, and indeed by far from those whose devices were right next to them. The difference to the Taschensmartphones was then smaller, but still measurable.
The assistant professor Adrian Ward noted that a linear trend is apparent in terms of cognitive capacity. Say, the brain power, one thing concentrated to edit. Interestingly, it was even less about thinking that the smartphone is nearby, but exactly the opposite.
The brain performance decreases linearly because the subjects think more or less subconsciously, not to think of the presence of the smartphone. This is called “brain drain”, which simply provides less CPU power in the bulb. Just as if I try to think about it all the time, why you can vote here for 2017 about same-sex marriage for all. While at the same time it proposes semicircular solutions called Network Enforcement Law.
Number of smartphone users in Germany in the years 2009 to 2016 (in millions) (Source: Statista)
Rant aside, the study also examined how the participants perceive themselves when it comes to the dependence on their smartphones. Some heavy users then again performed worse in the randomly distributed tests when the device was close and even switched off.
The quintessence is thus: If the smartphone is within easy reach, our brain is constantly busy holding the hand before access, which is reflected in reduced cognitive performance. Apparently, we have so conditioned ourselves to grab several dozens of times a day to the smartphone that it requires work properly, not to do it.
The whole study you can see here by the way. Before reading, however, the smartphone should be thrown out of the window, if you have one that can withstand that.