Predicting attention shifting abilities from self-reported media multitasking

Document identifier: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-76294
Access full text here:10.3758/s13423-018-01566-6
Keyword: Social Sciences, Psychology, Samhällsvetenskap, Psykologi, Engineering and Technology, Mechanical Engineering, Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics, Teknik och teknologier, Maskinteknik, Produktionsteknik, arbetsvetenskap och ergonomi, Media, Multitasking, Switching, Executive functions, Attention
Publication year: 2019
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SDG 3 Good health and wellbeing
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Abstract:

Media multitasking is an increasingly prominent behavior in affluent societies. However, it still needs to be established if simultaneous use of several modes of media content has an influence on higher cognitive functions, such as divided attention. In this study, attention shifting was the primary focus, since switching between tasks is assumed to be necessary for media multitasking. Two tasks, the number–letter and local–global task, were used as measures of switching ability. The cognitive reflections task was included to control for possible effects of intelligence. Results from linear regression analyses showed that higher levels of media multitasking was related to lower switching costs in the two attention-shifting tasks. These findings replicate previous findings suggesting that heavy media multitaskers perform better on select measures of task switching. We suggest two possible explanations for our results: media multitasking may practice skills needed for switching between tasks, or high media multitaskers are choosing this style of technology use due to a dominating personality trait in this group.

Authors

Pia Elbe

Umeå universitet, Institutionen för psykologi
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Daniel Eriksson Sörman

Umeå universitet, Institutionen för psykologi
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Elin Mellqvist

Umeå universitet, Institutionen för psykologi
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Julia Brändström

Umeå universitet, Institutionen för psykologi
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Jessica Körning-Ljungberg

Umeå universitet, Institutionen för psykologi
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