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hookhandsmcgee t1_j8q01qy wrote

The article is putting the cart before the horse. Checking smartphones more often isn't causing more daily cognitive failures. People who are prone to more daily cognitive failures (such as those with ADHD, ASD, anxiety, depression, or any number of other disorders which include executive dysfunction amongst their symptoms) are, as a result, more likely to check their phones frequently throughout the day, whether fo reminders, out of distraction, or just a subconcious search for that hit of dopamine.

Co-relation does not equal causation. Reporters writing about studies pretty much always twist it for an agenda.


bushidopirate t1_j8qa5dp wrote

Why not both? It could be a feedback loop where people with attention issues are more likely to check their phones frequently, which further exacerbates their attention issues.

Using your horse-and-cart analogy, I wouldn’t be surprised if the horse initially pulls the cart, but then the cart plummets downhill and starts dragging the horse.


RiotShields t1_j8qec2k wrote

The issue here is that if the study only proved correlation, they failed to determine whether the claim they were investigating was true:

> It has been suggested that smartphone use may have negative effects on our cognitive processes

Therefore their interpretation of the results is totally unsupported:

> This suggests that smartphone excessive smartphone checking is a distracting behaviour [sic]

The article says they compared the same individuals across multiple days, but that doesn't investigate whether smartphone use causes distraction or pre-existing distraction causes smartphone use. That's the concern in the original comment.

Also they had a "sample of 181 iPhone users from a local university" which may not be representative of any other demographic.

So while the results may be interesting, we're still far from answering many of the questions we're asking, and we can't yet act positively on this information.


hotdiggydog t1_j8uxxr1 wrote

Well, I can say, as someone that doesn't have ADD or ADHD, that the moment i pick up my phone, I've forgotten what I was going to do.


Witty_Interaction_77 t1_j8rl521 wrote

Honestly. From personal experience, I'd argue both simply based on the total number of people in my study (1, me). I never used to be like this. I forget many words, forget tasks, get distracted more easily, have trouble sitting through a movie, trouble staying on task. I never had this problem till a few years ago (32 years old now). It's been noticeable for me. I've known something is wrong for a time now. Wasn't sure what. Not 100% sure, but this seems like a good explanation of how my mind has changed since after highschool.