Proof your iPhone is making you stupider

Dina Rickman@dinarickman
Monday 12 January 2015 11:00
Science and Tech

Today in terrifying news, our nomophobia is so strong that merely being away from our iPhones is enough to make us stupider.

That's according to a new study from academics at the University of Missouri, who found that iPhone users were better at completing puzzles when they had their phones with them.

To determine this researchers told 40 iPhone users they were in a study to test the effectiveness of wireless blood pressure cuffs.

Participants put on the cuffs and were then asked to complete a word search while they had their iPhones with them. They were then told their devices may be interfering with the cuffs and asked to put their smartphones away. Researchers then called their iPhones while the participants were completing a second word search.

The results led academics to suggest that the psychological and physiological effects of being away from your iPhone - such as increased heart rate, blood pressure levels and feelings of anxiety - meant users should not part with their smartphones during important situations such as significant work meetings.

"Our findings suggest that iPhone separation can negatively impact performance on mental tasks," said the study's lead author Russell Clayton. "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."

More: The Extended iSelf: The Impact of iPhone Separation on Cognition, Emotion, and Physiology

More: God and six other things people are less interested in than the iPhone 6

Trending