Placing your smartphone next to you on the table is probably the most normal thing. But it shouldn’t! This is indicated by the results of an American study.
We prefer to have our smartphones by our side at all times. But that has an enormous influence on our brain performance, as scientists working with Adrian F. Ward from the University of Texas have found in a study. One study observed a total of around 800 test subjects in two experiments to find out how the location of the smartphone in particular can affect the performance of our brain. One group put their cell phone on the table, another put the cell phone in their pocket and another group put their smartphone in another room. A test checks participants’ cognitive abilities to find out whether the location of the smartphone has any effect on the brain.
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It is best to store your smartphone in a different room
The results were astonishing, as they suggest that the mere presence of the cell phone leads to a decrease in the available cognitive performance as well as impaired brain performance. And that although the people tested knew that they should now actually devote their full attention to the test.
The test subjects who left their cell phones in another room completed the test the best. For the participants who put the cell phone on the table, it did not matter whether the smartphone was switched on or off. The position of the display was also irrelevant. Even if the person was not using the cell phone, the mere presence of the device was enough. To influence attention and thereby reduce cognitive performance.
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The mere presence of the mobile phone leads to less concentration
“We’re seeing a linear trend that suggests that as the smartphone becomes more visible, the attendees’ available cognitive capacity will decrease,” Ward said in a statement . “You’re not consciously thinking about your smartphone, but that act – the act of not having to think about anything – uses some of your limited cognitive resources,” continued Ward. The brain power is massively restricted when we have our cell phone nearby. But it wasn’t because people received notifications on their cell phones that they were distracted. “The mere presence of their smartphone was enough to reduce their cognitive abilities,” explains Ward.
Daniel Oppenheimer, professor of psychology at the University of California, has already researched this altered ability to concentrate for other objects. “We know that cell phones are very desirable and that many people are addicted to their cell phones . I n this sense, it is not so surprising that a visible cell phone would be a burden on the intellectual resources nearby. But this study is the first to actually demonstrate this effect. A iven the spread of mobile phones in modern society has important implications, “said Oppenheimer to The Atlantic .
You might think of the study when you want to put your cell phone on the table during an important task. If your cell phone is not within reach, you will surely get the job done much faster. Then you can go back to your request and first check the notifications on your smartphone.