“How Smartphones Hijack Our Minds”: sources

I draw on several studies in my Wall Street Journal essay “How Smartphones Hijack Our Minds.” Here are citations and links for anyone who would like to delve more deeply into the subject.

Three articles written or cowritten by Adrian Ward, formerly at the University of Colorado at Boulder and now at the University of Texas at Austin, were particularly valuable:

Ward, Duke, Gneezy, Bos, “Brain Drain: The Mere Presence of One’s Own Smartphone Reduces Available Cognitive Capacity,” Journal of the Association for Consumer Research, 2017.

Ward, “Supernormal: How the Internet Is Changing Our Memories and Our Minds,” Psychological Inquiry, 2013.

Wegner, Ward, “How Google Is Changing Your Brain,” Scientific American, 2013.

Other studies cited, in the order mentioned:

Stothart, Mitchum, Yehnert, “The Attentional Cost of Receiving a Cell Phone Notification,” Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 2015.

Clayton, Leshner, Almond, “The Extended iSelf: The Impact of iPhone Separation on Cognition, Emotion, and Physiology,” Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 2015.

Thornton, Faires, Robbins, Rollins, “The Mere Presence of a Cell Phone May Be Distracting: Implications for Attention and Task Performance,” Social Psychology, 2014. (I refer in particular to the second of two experiments described in this paper.)

Lee, Kim, McDonough, Mendoza, Kim, “The Effects of Cell Phone Use and Emotion-Regulation Style on College Students’ Learning,” Applied Cognitive Psychology, 2017.

Beland, Murphy, “Ill Communication: Technology, Distraction & Student Performance,” Labour Economics, 2016.

Przybylski, Weinstein, “Can You Connect with Me Now? How the Presence of Mobile Communication Technology Influences Face-to-Face Conversation Quality,” Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 2013.

Misra, Cheng, Genevie, Yuan, “The iPhone Effect: The Quality of In-Person Social Interactions in the Presence of Mobile Devices,” Environment and Behavior, 2016.

Sparrow, Liu, Wegner, “Google Effects on Memory: Cognitive Consequences of Having Information at Our Fingertips,” Science, 2011.

William James’s observation that “the art of remembering is the art of thinking” comes from a lecture collected in the book Talks to Teachers on Psychology and to Students on Some of Life’s Ideals.

Cynthia Ozick’s reference to data as “memory without history” can be found in her essay “T.S. Eliot at 101,” published in the New Yorker in 1989.

Finally, at the start of the essay, I refer to Apple data showing that the average iPhone owner uses the device 80 times a day. This was disclosed in an Apple security presentation by Ivan Krstić last year. The figure refers to the number of times a device is unlocked during a day. Since it’s possible to check notifications without unlocking the phone, the figure likely understates the number of times people actually look at their phones during the day.