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Ladies: Multitasking Muddles the Mind?

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posted on Aug, 25 2009 @ 06:25 PM
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Bad news for people who like to text their BFFs while surfing the Web for some new shoes and watching the latest episode of Project Runway. Scientists who've conducted what they say is the first-ever study of chronic multitaskers found that cognitive performance declines when people try to pay attention to many media channels at once.
Although media multitasking has become more and more prevalent, no one knows how chronic media immersion affects cognitive functioning. So a team headed by psychologist Eyal Ophir of Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, identified 19 "heavy media multitaskers" (HMMs) and 22 "light media multitaskers" (LMMs) among a group of students based on how often they reported simultaneously using media such as television, cell phones, computer games, and videos.

The researchers then gave subjects in the two groups tests to see how well they could sift relevant information from the environment, filter out irrelevant information in their memories, and quickly switch between cognitive tasks. One filtering test, for example, required viewers to note changes in red rectangles while ignoring changes in blue rectangles in the same pictures. In the task-switching experiment, participants were presented with images of paired numbers and letters and had to switch back and forth between classifying the numbers as even or odd and classifying the letters as vowels or consonants.

sciencenow.sciencemag.org...


Well, not really directed at ladies, but I am in the line of a large group of men whole are constantly attacked by woman asking "well can't you multi task?"




posted on Aug, 25 2009 @ 06:38 PM
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first-ever study of chronic multitaskers found that cognitive performance declines
when people try to pay attention to many media channels at once.


...you've heard it once...you've heard it many times...here it comes...


They needed to perform a STUDY to realize this!?!?!?!?



posted on Aug, 25 2009 @ 06:44 PM
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reply to post by Scooby Doo
 


Very, very interesting post. I'm sure it doesn't just affect women, but I think it might have something to do with the *type* of multitasking. This all seems to be centred around media use, and I have to say from my own experience, the less I am exposed to media, living in a really quiet natural place, the more semsitive I become to it....now noise and electronics drive me mental. It's almost like there is an electronic fog around them when I have to be exposed to them. I'm sure it fries something important neurologically!


Maybe it would be useful to make a distinction between physical practical multitasking, which women are better at usually, and the electronic media type. Perhaps the first sharpens mental function...just my theory...and the second degrades it?

And it raises the question about our addiction to gadgets. Do the people who produce them know how disempowering and addictive they can be, I wonder?

[edit on 25-8-2009 by caitlinfae]



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