Leaving Your Smartphone in Another Room Makes You Smarter


If you can see it, cognition suffers.

We know that our unwavering affection for our phones is doing us damage, and with this growing addiction taking up 86 hours of our time per month, it’s not hard to see why. Now, new research, featured in Journal of the Association for Consumer Research has revealed that our attachment to our devices can reduce our cognitive function – the way we hold and process information. It also showed, that putting your device in another room (a bold move, we know) helps increase brain function.

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During the study, researchers tried different variables, such as placing your phone face-up, face-down, turned on and turned off, however findings concluded that the phone being nearby decreased brain power. The only way to beat the decrease in cognitive capacity is by placing it entirely out of sight.

A key researcher from the study, Dr Adrian Ward, says:

“We see a linear trend that suggests that as the smartphone becomes more noticeable, participants’ available cognitive capacity decreases. Your conscious mind isn’t thinking about your smartphone, but that process – the process of requiring yourself to not think about something – uses up some of your limited cognitive resources. It’s a brain drain.”

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Researchers also found that those with a particularly high dependency to their phones were most affected by having their phones in the same room with them. So, if saying farewell to your phone as you depart to another room seems a little too unrealistic at this stage, just popping it in your coat pocket will help you get some productive (uninterrupted) time in.

Nicole Webb

Staff Writer Collective Hub

Nicole is a Sydney based writer, who’s previously written for Harper’s Bazaar and Elle Australia. She has mused about everything from the world of haute couture, the Sydney music scene and newly founded start-ups.


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