Smartphone Separation Leading to Anxiety and Impaired Cognitive Performance

The University of Missouri have claimed that separation can lead to serious physiological and psychological effect including; poor cognitive performance, completing tasks and anxiety during daily tasks.

In a recent study by Russell Clayton he monitored a participant’s heart rate and blood pressure under two conditions. The first condition saw the participant in a computer cubicle, with their iPhone, and they were asked to complete a word search puzzle. The participants were asked to report their anxiety levels and comfort during the puzzle also.

Secondly, the researchers asked to remove the participant’s iPhones, stating they were causing interference with the blood pressure monitoring equipment. With the smartphones removed a second puzzle was provided.

The phones were moved to the other side of the room. During this second puzzle the researchers called the participants phones. During this the heart rate and everything as before was recorded.

The researchers found a notable difference; an increase in anxiety, heart rate and blood pressure levels. There was also a significant decrease in puzzle performance when compared to the first round.

The researchers reported that their findings ‘suggest iPhone separation can negatively impact performance on mental tasks’. ‘Additionally, the results from our study suggest that iPhones are capable of becoming an extension of ourselves such that when separated, we experience a lessening of ‘self’ and negative physiology state.

So can we say to teachers or bosses that we need our iPhone available at all times – our performance will be better!