iPhone separation causes psychological problems, researchers say

In a study that sounds like it was sponsored by Apple (although it apparently wasn’t), researchers have found that iPhone users being without their beloved devices causes psychological, physiological, and cognitive issues.

Russell Clayton and Glenn Leshner from the University of Missouri recruited subjects for what they told them was an experiment to test a new wireless blood pressure cuff. They then asked them to complete two word search puzzles: one with their iPhone by their side, the other without their phone – during which time researchers rang them, knowing they couldn’t answer. The cuff measured participants’ heart rate and blood pressure and they were also asked to rate how anxious or relaxed they felt while doing each puzzle.

The researchers found that when owners were separated from their iPhones, their heart rate and blood pressure levels increased significantly and they reported higher levels of anxiety, especially when their phones rang and they couldn’t answer. Their word search skills also plummeted. ‘Our findings suggest that iPhone separation can negatively impact performance on mental tasks,’ said Clayton.

He and his colleagues now recommend that iPhone users keep their phones with them when they need to be on top of their game, whether at work or thrashing a friend at Scrabble. They didn’t look at any other mobiles, but I suspect the same is true for them, too. But perhaps more so you don’t miss an important call and get stressed out than because they give you any kind of psychological superpower.

Image via Pixabay.

Diane Shipley