Multitaskers are more easily distracted and less able to ignore irrelevant information, compared to people who do less multitasking, says a recent study.
The researchers at Stanford University found the people who often multitask are in fact, the worst at it.
"The huge finding is, the more media people use the worse they are at using any media. We were totally shocked," said Clifford Nass, a professor at Stanford's communications department.
The research team studied 26 college undergraduates, separating them into high and low multitasking groups. They compared things like memory, ability to switch from one task to another, and being able to focus on a task.
When it came to the essential abilities, those who did a lot of multitasking didn't score as well as their peers who didn't. But the researchers are baffled as to why people who are the worst at multitasking are the ones doing it the most.
"Is multitasking causing them to be lousy at multitasking, or is their lousiness at multitasking causing them to be multitaskers?" Nass said. "is it born or learned."
Nass also observed that multitasking can have social implications. For example, multitasking is one of the main blames for car crashes, and many states restrict the use of cell phones while driving. Lawyears or advertisers can aslo use irrelevant information to distract and refocus people's attention and influence their decisions.
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