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See detailEmotion-related impulsivity moderates the cognitive interference effect of smartphone availability on working memory.
Canale, Natale; Vieno, Alessio; Doro, Mattia et al

in Scientific reports (2019), 9(1), 18519

Although recent studies suggest that the mere presence of a smartphone might negatively impact on working memory capacity, fluid intelligence, and attentional processes, less is known about the individual ... [more ▼]

Although recent studies suggest that the mere presence of a smartphone might negatively impact on working memory capacity, fluid intelligence, and attentional processes, less is known about the individual differences that are liable to moderate this cognitive interference effect. This study tested whether individual differences in emotion-related impulsivity traits (positive urgency and negative urgency) moderate the effect of smartphone availability on cognitive performance. We designed an experiment in which 132 college students (age 18-25 years) completed a laboratory task that assessed visual working memory capacity in three different conditions: two conditions differing in terms of smartphone availability (smartphone turned off and visible, smartphone in silent mode and visible) and a condition in which the smartphone was not available and was replaced by a calculator (control condition). Participants also completed self-reports that assessed their thoughts after the task performance, positive/negative urgency, and problematic smartphone use. The results showed that participants with higher positive urgency presented increased cognitive interference (reflected by poorer task performance) in the "silent-mode smartphone" condition compared with participants in the "turned-off smartphone" condition. The present study provides new insights into the psychological factors that explain how smartphone availability is liable to interfere with high-level cognitive processes. [less ▲]

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