Our smartphones help us find a phone number quickly, provide us with instant directions and recommend restaurants, but new research indicates that this convenience at our fingertips is making it easy for us to avoid thinking for ourselves.
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 their device’s search engine rather than their own brainpower. Smartphones allow them to be even lazier than they would otherwise be.
“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,” said Gordon Pennycook, co-lead author of the study, and a PhD candidate in the Department of Psychology at Waterloo.
In contrast, analytical thinkers second-guess themselves and analyze a problem in a more logical sort of way. Highly intelligent people are more analytical and less intuitive when solving problems.
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