A new study has indicated that people who rely a lot on their smartphones are tend to be lazy thinkers.
The study conducted at University of Waterloo suggested that smartphone users who are intuitive thinkers were more prone to relying on gut feelings and instincts when making decisions and frequently use their device’s search engine rather than their own brainpower.
Gordon Pennycook, co-lead author of the study, and a PhD candidate in the Department of Psychology at Waterloo, said that they may looked up information that they actually knew or could easily learn, but were unwilling to make the effort to actually think about it.
Pennycook said that their research provides support for an association between heavy smartphone use and lowered intelligence and whether smartphones actually decrease intelligence is still an open question that requires future research.
In three studies involving 660 participants, the researchers examined various measures including cognitive style ranging from intuitive to analytical, plus verbal and numeracy skills and then they looked at the participants’ smartphone habits.
Participants in the study who demonstrated stronger cognitive skills and a greater willingness to think in an analytical way spent less time using their smartphones’ search-engine function.
The results also indicated that use of social media and entertainment applications generally did not correlate to higher or lower cognitive abilities.