Poster Title

Our Addiction to Technology: Physiological Responses to Cell Phone Deprivation

Grade Level at Time of Presentation

Secondary School

Institution

Project Lead The Way - Kentucky

KY House District #

80

KY Senate District #

15

Abstract

In today's world, 9 out of 10 Americans own a cellphone. In addition to the multitude of cellphones, the average time of usage is a staggering 5 hours a day. 80% of that time is used in communication. Consequentially, as a whole we have become dependent on technology and created a psychological attachment to our cellphones bordering on addiction. This experiment studies the effects of that addiction by having volunteers sit for a fictional “experiment” in which their heart rates, surface temperature of the skin, and blood pressures were being recorded. During this time, a researcher repeatedly texted the volunteers, who were unable to look at their phones. The results demonstrated a universal increase in heart rate and blood pressure, along with a decrease in surface temperature of the skin. These responses mirrored stress responses, indicating that the psychological attachment to cell phones resulted in a physiological response by the body when deprived of access to cell phones. This “addiction” could lead to self-harmful behaviors, such as texting while driving, talking on the phone during work, or checking social media during class. It has come to the point that laws have been passed prohibiting the use of cell phones during driving, employees have been fired, and students have failed class due to cell phone use. This experiment focuses on not only demonstrating the dependence that we feel to our cell phones, but also on methods that could help to lesson that dependence. Primarily, the effectiveness of an app that rewards the user for not using his or her phone during a specific time frame will be measured. As the experiment is still ongoing, no results for this portion of the experiment are available at this time.

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Our Addiction to Technology: Physiological Responses to Cell Phone Deprivation

In today's world, 9 out of 10 Americans own a cellphone. In addition to the multitude of cellphones, the average time of usage is a staggering 5 hours a day. 80% of that time is used in communication. Consequentially, as a whole we have become dependent on technology and created a psychological attachment to our cellphones bordering on addiction. This experiment studies the effects of that addiction by having volunteers sit for a fictional “experiment” in which their heart rates, surface temperature of the skin, and blood pressures were being recorded. During this time, a researcher repeatedly texted the volunteers, who were unable to look at their phones. The results demonstrated a universal increase in heart rate and blood pressure, along with a decrease in surface temperature of the skin. These responses mirrored stress responses, indicating that the psychological attachment to cell phones resulted in a physiological response by the body when deprived of access to cell phones. This “addiction” could lead to self-harmful behaviors, such as texting while driving, talking on the phone during work, or checking social media during class. It has come to the point that laws have been passed prohibiting the use of cell phones during driving, employees have been fired, and students have failed class due to cell phone use. This experiment focuses on not only demonstrating the dependence that we feel to our cell phones, but also on methods that could help to lesson that dependence. Primarily, the effectiveness of an app that rewards the user for not using his or her phone during a specific time frame will be measured. As the experiment is still ongoing, no results for this portion of the experiment are available at this time.