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PsychologyOur news, events & seminars

Multitasking, Cognitive Abilities and Well-Being Seminar

Time:
16:00 - 17:00
Date:
8 November 2012
Venue:
Building 44 Room 3095 Shackleton Building University of Southampton Highfield Campus Southampton SO17 1BJ

For more information regarding this seminar, please telephone Allyson Marchi on 02380 599645 or email A.Marchi@soton.ac.uk .

Event details

There is a rapidly increasing trend in media multitasking (using two or more media concurrently). However, research on media multitasking's impacts is too sparse to inform the general public and policy makers whether media multitasking should be encouraged, managed, or minimized. Furthermore, there is room for improvement in existing measures of media multitasking.

There is a rapidly increasing trend in media multitasking (using two or more media concurrently). However, research on media multitasking's impacts is too sparse to inform the general public and policy makers whether media multitasking should be encouraged, managed, or minimized. Furthermore, there is room for improvement in existing measures of media multitasking.

The present study used an innovative computerized instrument – the Survey of the Previous Day – to quantify media multitasking as well as other forms of multitasking. Qualitative data from the open-ended section of the survey were used to derive psychosocial variables via language analyses. Further questionnaires were used to measure a variety of well-being related variables; experimental tasks were used to assess a few aspects of cognitive ability. Data obtained from 138 participants were analysed. The results show that greater multitasking that involved at least one form of media was associated with higher impulsivity and longer response time; however, such multitasking did not have widespread adverse effects on wellbeing. Multitasking involving only non-media activities was positively associated with sociability and the factor of making distinctions. It seems that, at least for the present sample, multitasking may not be as bad as it has been perceived or assumed.

Speaker information

Dr Shui-I Shih,Lecturer and Upgrade Tutor to Postgraduate Research Programme, University of Southampton BS (Psychology) – National Taiwan University, Taiwan PhD (Cognitive/Experimental Psychology), New York University, New York, USA (supervisor - Professor George Sperling)

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