iPhone owners: no brains without their phones


iPhone owners might love their phones, but they’re probably not aware that if they don’t have them to hand they will probably perform poorly on cognitive tasks. In other words, they’re not as clever as they think…

When you don’t have your iPhone close to hand, there’s a certain amount of anxiety that creeps in, according to a recent study from the University of Missouri (published in the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication) looking at the associated effects. Apparently, the feeling of anxiety caused by not having the phone, known as separation anxiety, could be negatively impacting your cognitive abilities.

iPhone owners not as smart as they think…?

Even though iPhone owners earn more (iPhone users earn on average $85,000 per year, 40 percent more than the Android users with an annual income of $61,000) it seems that they’re not quite as clever as they may believe.

The university statement says that “the MU researchers asked iPhone users to sit at a computer cubicle in a media psychology lab. The researchers told the participants that the purpose of the experiment was to test the reliability of a new wireless blood pressure cuff. Participants completed the first word search puzzle with their iPhone in their possession and the second word search word puzzle without their iPhone in their possession or vice versa while the researchers monitored their heart rates and blood pressure levels”.

iPhone Addiction

It was discovered that when the iPhone owners were deprived of their beloved smartphones, the participants experienced physical changes such as increased heart rate, blood pressure and anxiety, besides poorer cognitive performance.

The researchers don’t recommend giving up your iPhone but instead suggest users should avoid separating themselves from their phones when taking tests, attending meetings or other activities that require a great deal of attention.

“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” according to Russell Clayton, the lead author of the study.

Let us know in the comments whether you feel anxious without your iPhone, and whether Android users experience similar physiological effects of smartphone deprivation…


1 Comment

  1. Jesse Williams on

    “The researchers don’t recommend giving up your iPhone but instead suggest users should avoid separating themselves from their phones when taking tests, attending meetings or other activities that require a great deal of attention.” So what about people who cannot take their phone with them to specific locations on the job because the phone isn’t allowed in the area? This is seen a lot in the military and I’m pretty sure you want their cognitive abilities to be working at their best. They should recommend that the phone be put down and stored away from sight for a chunk of the day. This guy did research and then promotes that you stay attached to an item that is causing you psychological problems.