Scientists Find iPhone "Separation Anxiety" | NBC Southern California
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Scientists Find iPhone "Separation Anxiety"

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    SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 14: An Apple Store customer looks at the new Apple iPhone 4Gs on October 14, 2011 in San Francisco, United States. The new iPhone 4Gs went on sale today and features a faster dual-core A5 chip, an 8MP camera that shoots 1080p HD video, and a voice assistant program. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

    A University of Missouri study states that people suffer "separation anxiety" when their iPhones were placed in another room.

    The study of 40 iPhone users seemed to bolster the researchers' hypothesis that users would have physical discomfort and anxiety when separated by their phones, according to the study. The researchers also predicted a "lessening of self." From the study:

    Among the key findings from this study were that when iPhone users were unable to answer their ringing iPhone during a word search puzzle, heart rate and blood pressure increased, self-reported feelings of anxiety and unpleasantness increased, and self-reported extended self and cognition decreased. These findings suggest that negative psychological and physiological outcomes are associated with iPhone separation and the inability to answer one's ringing iPhone during cognitive tasks.

    "Our findings suggest that iPhone separation can negatively impact performance on mental tasks," Russell Clayton, a doctoral candidate at the MU School of Journalism and lead author of the study, said. "Additionally, the results from our study suggest that iPhones are capable of becoming an extension of ourselves such that when separated, we experience a lessening of 'self' and a negative physiological state."

    The users worked on two word search puzzles, the first while they were placing  their phones in another room. Once they were on the second puzzle, researchers called their phones and the users were "vexed," according to Newsweek.
    The research seems to indicate that the participants viewed their iPhones as part of themselves, or their "extended self."
    The study only used iPhone users, but it's likely that most smartphone users would feel some anxiety at a ringing or signaling phone that they can't access.