How often do you find yourself looking at your smartphone? Or, maybe a better question is, how often do you find yourself even thinking about your smartphone? Since the advent of smartphones, we’ve sort of become attached to them, as if they were an additional appendage to our own bodies. Think about it for just a second – our phones go everywhere with us; we don’t just leave them at home when we decide to go out for the night. And when we forget them somewhere, it almost feels as if we’ve lost some part of our body and we begin to have withdrawals from them. That might sound a bit extreme, but if research published by the University of Missouri is true, people really do have psychological issues when their iPhones are taken out of their possession. What kind of issues? Well, according to the study, people don’t perform as well on cognitive tests when they are without their phone. (The study specifically looked at iPhones and their users).
The lead author of the study, Russell Clayton had this to say of the findings: “Additionally, the results from our study suggest that iPhones are capable of becoming an extension of our selves such that when separated, we experience a lessening of ‘self’ and a negative physiological state.”
To study the effect of iPhones and test results, researchers gave two sets of word puzzles to participants. During each test, their blood pressure was carefully monitored, and participants were then asked about any anxiety they had felt, etc. During the first part of the test, they had their iPhones in their possession. However, during the second part, their phones were taken away because of a “Bluetooth interference” and they were forced to do the word puzzle without the phones. After the second part, participants reported they were filled with more anxiety. (Just to be clear, the phones weren’t used at all by the participants during the testing).
Their findings even go on to state that people probably shouldn’t be separated from their phones during important meetings, or when they do something that requires them to really pay attention.
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[Image via EndTimeHeadlines]
SOURCE: University of Missouri