Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Multi-taskers not up to the mark

As people acquire more and more gadgets the temptation to do more than one thing at once gets ever stronger. Anyone who commutes to work will have seen people texting, listening to an I-Pod and reading a book all at the same time. However, researchers at Stanford University have found that students who make a habit of doing several things at once actually have less brainpower. The researchers studied 262 college students who filled out a questionnaire about how often they went online, watched TV, read, listened to music, emailed and text messaged and how often they did more than one thing at a time. The students then took a series of cognitive tests. The researchers found that students classified as 'heavy media multi-taskers' were less able to filter out irrelevant distractions, worse at organizing and filing away information and less able to shift their attention from one task to another. So, if you want a job done properly put away your BlackBerry and stick to doing one thing at a time.

You can find out more about this research at


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