Ever feel like your brain is just as drained as your smartphone battery? Well, it turns out your attempts to unplug from your smartphone and recharge your brain may not be as effective as you think.
A new study out of the University of Texas finds the mere presence of one’s smartphone reduces cognitive capacity.
For more on his study, listen below:
For the study, Professor Adrian Ward gathered data from more than 500 college students. One third of them left their phones in a secure locker outside of the testing room. One third was asked to place their phones on the desk during the test. The other third kept their phones wherever they would normally put them during a test. Then the students were given standardized tests, completing math problems while remembering a randomly generated letter sequence, and a pattern completion test.
What Ward found was that the two groups with phones in the room — regardless of where they were — had a harder time completing the tests. This was true even if the students were successful in ignoring their phone. Their mental abilities were reduced merely by the presence of their smartphones.
“We’re showing that even when you successfully avoid consciously thinking about your phone or using your phone, it’s exerting this sort of brain drain by virtue of the fact that you have to resist paying attention to your phone,” Ward said.
The only option is to separate oneself from the smartphone. Leave it in another room. Otherwise, whether you are aware of it or not – having your smartphone in close proximity is zapping your brain power.