The Journal of Consumer Research, The University of Chicago Press, April 3, 2017
Adrian F. Ward, Kristen Duke, Ayelet Gneezy, and Maarten W. Bos,
Brain drain hypothesis
Our smartphones enable—and encourage—constant connection to information, entertainment, and each other. They put the world at our fingertips, and rarely leave our sides. Although these devices have immense potential to improve welfare, their persistent presence may come at a cognitive cost. In this research, we test the “brain drain” hypothesis that the mere presence of one’s own smartphone may occupy limited-capacity cognitive resources, thereby leaving fewer resources available for other tasks and undercutting cognitive performance
Through the WI Lens
“This article is 3 months old, but attracting increasing attention among experts, commentators and journalists. The “brain drain hypothesis” essentially argues that our smartphones enable constant connection and in so doing improve social welfare, but that their persistent presence comes at a cognitive cost. It shows that the mere presence of one’s own smartphone may deplete our limited cognitive resources, that is: leaving fewer resources for other tasks and also undercutting cognitive performance.
The implications for the wellbeing industry are obvious: the need to control our digital consumption will come to the fore, prompting an even greater focus on digital detox.”
“The industry has every asset needed to be a guiding light in the shift toward personal health priority. Will that become a prevention legacy, a ‘phoenix rising’ from the Covid-19 ashes?”
“Looking at the bigger picture, putting the measures in this order represents a lost opportunity that the pandemic could have offered for a cultural pivot pivot towards getting people more focused on their health, a powerful statement of intent.”
“Employment is necessary to fulfil our most basic human needs such as food and shelter. Any significant increase in long-term unemployment will spell a retrograde step for human wellbeing like no other.”
“All roads lead to a wellbeing anchor, whether that be economic/financial, physical, mental or emotional: all contribute to a progressive and inclusive cosmopolitan world. The answer should not be a choice of one or the other but of a joined up and compassionate solution for society, business and individuals.”
“The paradox is that we continue to do this in spite of recognising that striving to become ever-more productive is an intrinsically unhealthy behaviour, leading to stress and too often, a sense of failure.”
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