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Google is teaming up with researchers to investigate how the mobile devices glued to our hands may be affecting our minds.

Conducted with researchers from the University of Oregon, the effort will be the second study to launch through the Google Health Studies app, the company’s nascent platform for conducting health research on its Android operating system. Like a similar program run by its competitor Apple, Google Health Studies aims to beef up the company’s health bona fides among consumers, researchers, and care providers.


In this case, Google has chosen to tackle a question that’s been the subject of great public concern as well as increasing academic study: Are smartphones really making us miserable? And if so, what kind of usage is most deleterious? Nicholas Allen, a professor of clinical psychology and lead researcher on the study, said he hoped such work could help influence product design by tech companies.

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