How Smartphones are Weakening Our Minds

Diminishing Intelligence

Photo: Saad Faruque / Creative Commons

Another study conducted by Dr. Ward study shows that our attachment to our phones has grown so intense that their mere presence may be diminishing our intelligence.

In the study, 520 undergraduate students were given two standard tests of intellectual acuity. One test gauged “available cognitive capacity,” a measure of how fully a person’s mind can focus on a particular task. The second assessed “fluid intelligence,” a person’s ability to interpret and solve an unfamiliar problem.

The only variable in the experiment was where the subjects’ smartphone was located during the tests. Some of the students were asked to place their phones in front of them on their desks, whereas others were told to stow their phones in their pockets or handbags. There was another group that were required to leave their phones in a different room.

In both tests, the subjects whose phones were in view had the worst scores, while those who left their phones in a different room did the best. The students who kept their phones in their pockets or bags came out in the middle. As the phone’s proximity increased, brainpower decreased.

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