Introduction: As we turn to smartphones for managing our lives, we must ask how our dependence on these devices is affecting our ability to think and function in the world off-screen. The mere presence of these devices occupies our limited attentional resources, thus leaving fewer resources available for the task at hand and ultimately undercutting cognitive performance. As technology diminishes our cognitive capabilities, yoga has proven to be effective for cognitive enhancement.
Objective: This paper aims to explore the extent of whether meditating for fifteen minutes immediately before a domain-general test increases ninth grade students' ability to maintain their attention on the test while their smartphones are on their desks.
Method: The independent variable in this study was simply engaging in the meditation before the test or receiving nothing. The dependent variable was the ability to maintain focus on the working memory task, which was measured using the Automated Operation Span Task (Ospan) which is the most widely used working memory test. Two classes were chosen; one as the experimental and one as the control. On the first day, both classes took the Ospan Task. On the second day, the experimental group engaged in meditation immediately before taking a different version of the Ospan Task. The control group took the Ospan Task without any intervention.
Results: After gathering the scores and running a Two Mean T-Test, the low p-value result proved meditations effectiveness as a way to manage smartphone distractions.
Conclusions: For students to succeed academically, it is pressing that students use all of their cognitive resources to pay attention and to stay engaged in class. This conclusion has implication for the education sector, as it sheds light on how students can be taught how to cope with smartphone distractions, especially in the classroom.