Sunday, March 08, 2015

Is your smartphone making you stupid?

Smartphones have made our lives easier and more efficient. They allow us to call people, find directions, and look up virtually anything we want to know within seconds – with a mere touch of the screen.

But are we too reliant on these devices to do things for us? New research indicates that there is a downside to all of this convenience: we are becoming lazier thinkers.

The study, from researchers at the University of Waterloo and published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior, suggests that smartphone users who are intuitive thinkers — more prone to relying on gut feelings and instincts when making decisions — frequently use our device’s search engine rather than our own brainpower.

In other words, smartphones allow some of us to be even lazier than we would otherwise be.

Gordon Pennycook, co-lead author of the study and a PhD candidate in the Department of Psychology at Waterloo, explains:

“They may look up information that they actually know or could easily learn, but are unwilling to make the effort to actually think about it.” Full story...

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