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Entrada Artigos Outras Línguas Do you multitask? Research suggests it might do more harm than good
Do you multitask? Research suggests it might do more harm than good PDF Versão para impressão Enviar por E-mail
Escrito por Carlos Simões   
Quarta, 07 Dezembro 2011 11:26

Multitasking, so often considered a mark of mastery in the modern age, isn't quite what we think it is. "Multitasking," as it's used in common parlance, is somewhat of a misnomer: rather than performing multiple tasks simultaneously, the brain actually switches rapidly between tasks. And task-switching is an expensive habit that gobbles up extra processing power, rendering any attempt to "multitask" less efficient than simply concentrating on one task at a time.

Indeed, a 2009 study from Stanford discovered that frequent multitasking hurt cognitive performance. People labeled as "heavy media multitaskers"-those who consumed several forms of media at once, like texting while listening to music-were worse at attention tests. They also floundered on challenging working memory tests and scored lower on a task-switching assessment. The researchers postulated that frequent exposure to irrelevant stimuli made these "heavy" users less adept at filtering interference even when it mattered.

In a 2006 study from UCLA, researchers came up with a more ambiguous conclusion: multitasking didn't necessarily make you learn more poorly, just differently. They found that participants who learned a new task while exposed to a secondary task performed the learned behavior just as accurately-participants were simply unable to explain why, or access other explicit learned information. Multitasking seemed to make new learnings more akin to habit.

Finally, a lucky 2.5% of the population is actually capable of mastering multitasking: these "Supertaskers" experienced no drop in performance even when faced with a challenging driving simulation test, according to a study from 2010.

The takeaway: while multitasking is a misnomer, task switching and working memory are very real.

Leia mais: Media multitaskers pay mental price, Stanford study shows

Pode também ser do seu interesseReport - media multitasking - Stanford University

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