With the advent of the tech era, smartphones have become an essential part of our lives. They not only help us stay in touch with our near and dear ones but also take us to places (with apps like Google Maps) and keep us entertained with apps like YouTube. In the modern world, smartphones have become more of a necessity than a luxury.

On one hand, where smartphones are making our lives simpler, they are also making us dumber!

Don’t believe us? Read on. Researchers from the University of Texas conducted an experiment involving nearly 800 smartphone users to how the use of smartphones affected their cognitive ability.

The first experiment involved 548 participants, who were subjected to a series of test to measure the effects of smartphones on their cognitive ability. The participants were randomly assigned three groups with different phone location– desk, pocket or the other room. Here’s what the researchers found out:

People who were asked to leave their phones in the other room performed significantly better than those with their smartphones on the desk on in their pockets.

The second experiment, which involved 296 participants, had similar precursor conditions, except that some participants were randomly asked to either silence their smartphones or turn them off completely. Here’s what they found out:

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Participants who believed they were less dependent on their smartphones performed better than those who claimed that they were more dependent.

All participants performed better when their smartphones were kept in another room.

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Researchers found out that mere presence of smartphones reduces the cognitive abilities of the individuals even if it’s turned off. Also, the impact of smartphones on the cognitive abilities were dependent on the extent to which the users feel the need to use their phones.

The mere presence of one’s smartphone reduces cognitive capacity of individuals even when it is not in use.

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