Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Your iPhone Might Be Turning You Into a Wimp

New research from Harvard University suggests that tiny smartphones are eroding our confidence.

Photo by Jonas Tana


As if it wasn’t enough of a blow to your psyche to be decimated by your mother in Words With Friends, new research out of Harvard Business School suggests that we’re all being emasculated by our smartphones in a more subtle and sinister way.

Forget eye strain and ergonomic brutality, the countless hours spent hunched over a tiny screen like wretched little Gollums might actually be hindering our confidence. According to researchers, smartphone users change the hormonal chemistry of their brain by assuming a “low power” posture, which increases neural levels of cortisol and reduces testosterone, resulting in more stress and less confidence.

To prove this theory, researchers asked 75 volunteers to perform a set of tasks on one of four randomly assigned devices: an iPod Touch, iPad, Macbook Pro laptop or an iMac desktop. When the participants were done with the tasks, the research assistant pointed to a clock in the room and said, "I will get some forms ready for you to sign so I can pay you and you can leave. If I am not here in five minutes, please come get me at the front desk."

The research assistant never came back, leaving the participants to either wait feebly in the room or go out and fetch him.

Incredibly, device size substantially affected whether the participant left the room after waiting the requisite five minutes. Of the participants using a desktop computer, 94 percent took the initiative to fetch the experimenter. For those using the iPod Touch, only 50 percent left the room.

Device size even affected the amount of time they waited before fetching the researcher. The bigger the device was, the shorter the wait time. On average, desktop users waited 341 seconds, while iPod Touch users waited an average of 493 seconds.

No wonder Michael Douglas was so confident in Wall Street. Science!

For more: Harvard Business School


#Grades: Pittsburgh gets an A on S&P credit report card

In 2004, the financially distressed city of Pittsburgh had its bond rating downgraded to junk status. Now, less than a decade later, Standard & Poor's has upgraded the city’s credit grade from BBB to an A. The agency praised Pittsburgh’s “deep and diverse economic base,” strong reserves and liquidity.

S&P warned that challenges remain — namely, the city’s massive debt burden and underfunded pensions. But we’ll figure it out. We’re wicked smart.


  What’s going on this weekend?


  • Summer Jams on Walnut is a block party featuring an outdoor concert on Walnut Street. Admission is free, but if you want to drink, a wristband is $2; proceeds benefit the Western Pennsylvania chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. — Saturday, 7 p.m.
  • Relive the ’90s at the First Niagara Pavilion with Matchbox 20 and the Goo Goo Dolls. Tickets still available for this outdoor show. — Saturday, 7 p.m.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

House of the Week: Strip District Chic

Located in the premiere 2500 Smallman community, the home features nearly 6,000 square feet of living space –– including ample space for entertainment.
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Latest

The 400-Word Review: Pope Francis: A Man of His Word

The careful documentary is a valuable document of the pontiff's philosophy. As of a film, there are issues.

Popular Peter's Pub Announces Final “Last Call”

The owners of the Oakland Avenue bar announced on Facebook they have decided to retire -- but are planning one last “hoorah.”

An Inclusive Community Breaks the Ramadan Fast at Salem's Market & Grill

The Strip District restaurant draws a diverse community to its nightly ifṭār buffet.

Take a Tricky Trip To Mars at Escape Room 51

The new escape room in Pleasant Hills is a great game for newer players.

Looking for a Royal Wedding Watch Party in Pittsburgh?

With the ceremony just hours away, several watch parties and live screenings of the nuptials have already sold out. But we found a few more places in Pittsburgh still taking guests whose invitations got lost in the mail.

Surprising Pirates Proving to be an Acquired Taste This Season

For the time being, at least, fans continue to send owner Bob Nutting a message wrapped in apathy.

Sunrise, Sunset: Pittsburgh Playhouse's Second Act

The curtain is closing this month on the historical Pittsburgh Playhouse in Oakland, but it will rise again when Point Park University this fall unveils its new theater Downtown, a space with a history of its own.

A Matter of Pride: Delta Foundation's Struggles with Success

Within the span of 10 years, the Delta Foundation of Pittsburgh has brought the city’s annual Pride festival to previously unimaginable heights. That growth, however, has left some members of the community behind — and unhappy.

Remembering Bruno Sammartino: “The Italian Superman”

The storied grappler captured the imagination — and the hearts — of generations of Pittsburghers.

Best Restaurants 2018

This year we recommend 40 establishments as our region's top restaurants.For the second year in a row, we categorize the restaurants in All-Arounders, Killer Casual, Fancy Night Out and Classic Pittsburgh to help you find whatever suits your mood.

Chef of the Year: Jamilka Borges

Jamilka Borges, executive chef of Independent Brewing Company and Hidden Harbor, raises the bar with her dedication to volunteerism as well as her culinary prowess.

Best Places to Introduce Children to the Performing Arts

When you see a show at one of these organizations, you may enjoy it as much as the children.

If You Jump, We Jump (At The Giant Bouncy House for Adults)

The world’s biggest bouncy house is coming to the Lawrence County Fair in New Castle.

The 400-Word Review: Deadpool 2

Can the sequel to the lightning-in-a-bottle superhero hit live up to its predecessor?

Get Creative: Pittsburgh Podcast Inspires 'Girl Bosses'

Thinking about starting a creative business but don't know where to start? From photography to interior design, Gamechangers, the new podcast from local textile designer Savannah Hayes, gives a behind-the-scenes look at the design industry from the female perspective.