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Predicting attention shifting abilities from self-reported media multitasking
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1717-240X
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
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2019 (English)In: Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, ISSN 1069-9384, E-ISSN 1531-5320, Vol. 26, no 4, p. 1257-1265Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

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.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2019. Vol. 26, no 4, p. 1257-1265
Keywords [en]
Media, Multitasking, Switching, Executive functions, Attention
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-158626DOI: 10.3758/s13423-018-01566-6ISI: 000482783800010PubMedID: 31030392OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-158626DiVA, id: diva2:1313451
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Framgångsrikt åldrande
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Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, KAW 2014.0205Available from: 2019-05-03 Created: 2019-05-03 Last updated: 2019-10-16Bibliographically approved

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