Scottish Daily Mail
Why using smartphones could make us less smart
THEY offer a huge amount of information at the click of a button – but smartphones are making us brainless, research suggests.
Many users have become lazy and rely on internet search engines on their phone rather than their own intelligence to solve problems, the scientists said.
The researchers also warned that avoiding using our brains now could cause problems as we get older.
The team, from the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, tested 660 participants for various measures of brain power, such as verbal and numeracy skills, as well as their smartphone habits.
They found that those who were less analytical spent more time on their phones than those with stronger cognitive skills, the journal Computers in Human Behaviour reports.
Co-author Gordon Pennycook said: ‘They may look up information they actually know or could easily learn, but are unwilling to make the effort to actually think about it.’
He added: ‘Our research provides support for an association between heavy smartphone use and lowered intelligence. Whether smartphones actually decrease intelligence is still an open question that requires future research.’