Multitasking May Be Affecting You

Multitasking may be hazardous to your attention span.

Researchers at Stanford University studied multitaskers, and found that those who do it the most are the ones who are worst at it. The researchers divided 262 college undergraduates into two groups: high and low multitaskers. They compared such things as memory, ability to switch from one task to another, and the ability to focus on a particular task. They found that people doing a lot of multitasking didn't score as well as others. Communications Professor Clifford Nass of Stanford's says what it shows is the more media people use, "the worse they are at using any media."

The study's findings are reported in the latest edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


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  • by Endurance Swimmer Location: Greenville on Aug 27, 2009 at 11:15 PM
    Yes Kat, you're right on! I have ADHD, and OCD, which makes it very difficult to multitask! I've been diagnosed with both. This is not bunk or "a cop out for not studying". I'm 45, so I know what I'm saying!
  • by Cactus Location: Strabane on Aug 25, 2009 at 03:00 PM
    Multitasking, is that like driving, talking on the cell, adjusting the radio and correcting the kids all at once. This is not multitasking, its dumb.
  • by To: "T" Location: From: Kat on Aug 25, 2009 at 01:13 PM
    I have a child that has ADD. There is such a thing. There are extensive tests that can be done on a certain part of the brain to determine the area of the brain that is not functioning properly. The down side to this is that insurance companies do not pay for this so many children/adults go misdiagnosed and are put on medicines for this. The tests pin points to the location and helps the physician know exactly how to diagnose and treat the problem. So, with this said, please know there are children/adults that do suffer from this and I am sure there are some that are misdiagnosed. But don't lump them all together saying it is a "cop out for not studying". Our son struggled and he did study. But since we paid for the extensive testing and have him properly diagnosed, he can now lead a much more normal life.
  • by Mike Location: Havelock on Aug 25, 2009 at 12:52 PM
    Is this really a surprise to anyone? Even computer "multitasking" is not really 'multitasking', but instead 'time-sharing' with the CPU. Bottom line is that we can only focus on one thing at a time.
  • by T Location: Washington on Aug 25, 2009 at 11:38 AM
    No such thing as ADHD. Simply a cop out for students who cannot take the 30-45 minutes a night to study. As qouted,"these studies are such bunk".
  • by Don Location: Washington on Aug 25, 2009 at 10:15 AM
    Calm down, this is just one study. These studies are to build on or off of, Stanford researchers are not saying this study is all-encompassing or that other researchers should just go home! It’s a small piece that may, or may not ever, be relevant. If a study was ever totally correct and covered every element of a topic - there would not ever be reason to study that topic again. That in itself explains that research only provides small pieces to a larger puzzle.
  • by Anonymous on Aug 25, 2009 at 09:47 AM
    These studies are such bunk. They used 262 college students from a generation where 70% have ADHD. And this minute group is supposed to be a representative sample of the 300 million in the US? What about the millions of adults in our workforce that would fail to produce if they weren't efficient mutitaskers?
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