Reading on computer screens and smartphones has made people unable to fully understand what they are reading as our brains retreat into focusing on small details rather than meanings, a study claims.
Researchers found that those who filled in forms, read short stories or studied using computer screens tended to grasp the basic facts of what they were reading, but often failed to process the “high-level” or abstract ideas behind the material.
The findings from Dartmouth College support common fears that modern technology has shortened attention spans and left little time for contemplative thought.
The authors suggested that the possibility of distractions offered by computers had caused people to resort to the less mentally-challenging activity of grasping concrete details when reading, even in the test conditions when these distractions were not available. Read more