The study hooked up participants to a wireless blood pressure monitor and then asked them to solve word-search puzzles. Once base readings of blood pressure and puzzle-solving performance had been measured, the researchers claimed that the participant’s iPhones were causing Bluetooth interference with the wireless monitor, and the phones needed to be moved further away within the room. New blood pressure and puzzle-solving readings were then obtained to measure the effect of being separated from their phones …
Participants were also asked to rate how pleasant or unpleasant they felt in both phases of the test.
The results showed an increase in blood pressure, indicative of stress or anxiety; poorer performance at solving the puzzles; and participants rating their feelings more toward the unpleasant end of the scale.
These findings suggest that iPhone users should avoid parting with their phones during daily situations that involve a great deal of attention, such as taking tests, sitting in conferences or meetings, or completing important work assignments, as it could result in poorer cognitive performance on those tasks.
Sounds to me like a solid academic argument for suggesting you need to keep your iPhone on you when sitting exams …
A full copy of the paper The Extended iSelf: The Impact of iPhone Separation on Cognition, Emotion, and Physiology is available for free viewing in the Wiley Online Library.
You can of course measure your own blood pressure on your iPhone using a Bluetooth cuff which feeds data to your iPhone (or to someone else’s, if you want to measure your separation anxiety), with the QardioArm one of the latest devices.