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More PsychNotes: Mental Abilities and Memory

September 24, 2015       
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Think Multi-tasking Makes You More Efficient? Think Again!
by Monica A. Frank, PhD

Do you often do more than one thing at a time to get more done?

Do you believe that multi-tasking makes you more successful?

Does your work require multi-tasking to make employees more productive?

Guess what—multi-tasking is a myth. I'm writing an article to explain this in more detail. However, I just came across an interesting research study I thought I would share about multi-tasking with everyday entertainment.

Are you ever on Facebook or other social media while watching a TV show? Many TV shows even encourage viewers to tweet with the cast during the show. Usually, the purpose of watching a TV show is for entertainment and enjoyment. However, when researchers Oviedo and colleagues examined multi-tasking when watching a situation comedy, they found those who watched the show without using Facebook enjoyed the entertainment more and remembered more about it than those who were engaged with Facebook while watching the show..

Imagine—if attempting to multi-task can effect such a simple behavior, how might it affect more complex behaviors?

Oviedo, V., Tornquist, M., Cameron, T. and Chiappe, D. (2015). Effects of Media Multi-tasking with Facebook on the Enjoyment and Encoding of TV Episodes. Computers in Human Behavior, 51, 407-417. DOI: 10.1016/j.chb.2015.05.022


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