Smartphone addiction and poor decision making

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If you are addicted to your smartphone you are more likely to make poor decisions in ambiguous situations. This means that when presented with a choice, where the risks are not clear, you are more likely to emphasise the reward (the gain) and overlook or downplay the negative consequences.

This is what Brazilian researchers found in a recent study with smartphone addicted students.

How does this look in a daily situation? Imagine you are at lunch with your colleagues. You haven’t spoken to them in a while, just to catch up. When you sit down your thoughts go to checking your Instagram feed, how many likes you got. The pull is strong. In that split-second you focus on the reward, but downplay the consequence – ignoring your colleagues. You keep dropping out of the conversation. After seeing the top of your head for the 5th time they leave you out of the conversation and wonder why you actually came to lunch with them. If this carries on then in future they won’t invite you to lunch.

The more addicted you are the more you will play down these consequences, instead focusing on the immediate reward (check Instagram).

These decisions are not just limited to using your smartphone. It could be that you downplay the risks on taking on a new project at work, or deciding to purchase that 15th product online this month, even though you have almost maxed-out your credit card. Again!

To learn how to see these decisions more clearly by reducing the impact of a smartphone addiction, check out our online course.

Regards, Jason

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