Study: Media Multitasking is Bad for Attention

Study: Media Multitasking is Bad for Attention

How is multitasking affection your attention?

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You do it all the time. Switching from one device to another, rewiring your brain to focus on the movie, then on your smartphone, then on the important email, you received on your tablet.
Some people are convinced that media multitasking is good training for their brains, but it’s not, according to researchers. One study that was quoted by TNW found that media multitaskers performed worse on attention and working memory tests.

The abstract of the study states:

“While the literature is still sparse, and is marked by both convergent and divergent findings, the balance of evidence suggests that heavier media multitaskers exhibit poorer performance in a number of cognitive domains, relative to lighter media multitaskers (although many studies find no performance differences between groups).”

The research adds that the findings are significant and future studies are needed to uncover the mechanistic underpinnings of observed differences that could determine the direction of causality and understand whether remediation efforts are needed and effective, as well as determine how measurement heterogeneity relates to variable outcomes, as the scientists explain.

“Such efforts will ultimately inform decisions about how to minimize the potential costs and maximize the many benefits of our ever-evolving media landscape.”, the abstract of the study concludes.

But what does it mean exactly? Should you multitask or you should try to focus on one thing at a time? The recent research suggests you should probably avoid multitasking to be more productive at work. According to a study on dual-task interference, people often have trouble performing 2 relatively simple tasks at the same time.
In a landscape, where media tasking is not only common but almost mandatory, it is worth continuing to study the subject and its potential effects on humans.

Do you like multitasking and are you good at it? Share your experience in the comments.

Image Credits: Pixabay