An Intervention Utilizing the Salience Principle to Reduce Pharmacy Students' Psychological Attraction to Smartphones

Elijah Myers, Erin T Drees, Jeffrey Cain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objective. To determine pharmacy student reactions to and experiences with an intervention based on the principle of salience to reduce psychological attraction and attention to smartphones.Method. For a period of three weeks, participants were directed to change their smartphone's color setting to grayscale mode, turn off social media notifications, remove social media icons from smartphone home screen, and place the device away from their bed when sleeping. A thematic analysis was performed on responses to an anonymous, open-ended survey question that asked participants to record any positive/negative changes to their life and well-being as a result of participating in the study.Results. Thematic analysis revealed 20 unique themes and a variety of notable observations, including a reduction in both smartphone and social media use, reduced allure because of grayscale mode, frustrations caused by grayscale mode, increased productivity, and general improvements in sleep, face-to-face interactions, and overall well-beingConclusion. Results of this study provide initial evidence that changes to smartphone settings and physical placement at night may lead to positive outcomes. Participants reported primarily positive effects regarding well-being and reduced smartphone usage as a result of participating in the study. In many cases, less time on smartphones meant improved sleep, more productivity, more time for social/leisure activities, improved face-to-face interactions, and/or improvement in well-being.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8717
JournalAmerican Journal of Pharmaceutical Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

© 2022 American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy.


  • Education, Pharmacy
  • Humans
  • Sleep
  • Smartphone
  • Social Media
  • Students, Pharmacy


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