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[Tech] Smartphone within REACH can cause DISTRACTION

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01:24, Jun-27-2017 | From PC
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How often do you use your Smartphone while working?

How focus are you with your work having your Smartphone?

Researchers from the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin in the US conducted a research on how well people can perform to complete task having their Smartphones nearby. According to Adrian Ward, Smartphones become more noticable that causes the available cognitive capacity of a person to decrease.

Cognitive capacity is the total amount of information the brain is capable of retaining at any particular moment. How much of one’s cognitive capacity is being used towards a particular task at any given time is called the cognitive load.

The researchers conducted two (2) experiments with nearly 800 smartphone users. These experiments will measure the participants available cognitive capacity.

In one of the experiments, the participants were given a series of test that requires full concentration to score well. The participants were instructed before the experiment starts to place their Smartphone on the desk, in their pocket, in their bag, or in another room. All participants were instructed to turn their Smartphones to silent.

Based on the result of the experiment, the researchers found out that the participants who put their Smartphones in another room significantly outperformed those with their Smartphones on the desk, and slightly outperformed those participants who kept their Smartphones on their pockets or bag.

The findings of the experiment suggested that the presence of one's Smartphone can reduce individual cognitive capacity and reduce cognitive functioning.

"Your conscious mind isn't thinking about your Smartphone, but that process - the process of not requiring yourself to not think about something - uses up some of your cognitive resources. It's a brain drain", Ward explained.

On the other experiment, participants were asked to report on their own " Smartphone Dependence", or how strongly a person feels on the need to have a smartphone to get through the day.

With thesame test, the researchers found that participants who were the most dependent of their smartphones performed worse than those who were less dependent, but only when they kept their smartphones  smartphones on their desk or in the pocket or bag.

The result of the experiment also showed that it didn't matter whether a person's smartphone is turned on or off, or wether it is lying face up or down on the desk. "It's not that participants were distracted because they were getting notifications on their phones," Ward said. "The mere presence of their smartphone was enough to reduce their cognitive capacity", Ward added.


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