Are there associations between daily multitasking experience and multitasking performance?

Kelvin F. H. LUI*, Pu FAN, Ken H. M. YIP, Yetta Kwailing WONG, Alan C.-N. WONG

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

Abstract

Research showed mixed findings regarding the relationships between daily multitasking experience and laboratory multitasking performance. One measurement issue was the low reliability and validity of using a single measurement for daily multitasking experience. Another measurement issue was the popular use of simple laboratory paradigms that may or may not capture well cognitive processes underlying real-life multitasking. The current study revisited the relationship between daily multitasking experience and multitasking performance with a better design. Multiple measurements were used to ensure good reliability and validity. This included a mobile phone task switching measurement – an arguably better proxy for daily multitasking experience and three realistic multitasking paradigms that mimic real life multitasking situations. The results showed that (1) phone switching was not significantly associated with the media multitasking index, suggesting that they were measuring different aspects of multitasking experience; (2) indicators of the multitasking performance were moderately correlated among themselves, suggesting that different realistic multitasking paradigms were measuring overlapping multitasking abilities; and, intriguingly, (3) no significant association between multitasking experience and performance indicators was found. One possibility is that people can only benefit from daily multitasking practice when they engaged in daily multitasking activities with an intention to improve the performance. Other possibilities and implications were also discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number174702182210879
JournalQuarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
Early online date2 Mar 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This research was supported by the General Research Fund (14645416) from the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong to A.C.-N.W.

Publisher Copyright:
© Experimental Psychology Society 2022.

Keywords

  • media multitasking
  • multitasking habits
  • daily multitasking experience
  • multitasking ability
  • multitasking performance

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