Stanford research: Heavy multitaskers perform ‘worse’ than low-multitasking peers


In a supposedly anti-multitasking report, researchers of the Stanford University revealed on Monday that while trying to look for the 'secret' behind good media multi- tasking ability, they was surprisingly discovered a broad-based incompetence among most multitaskers.

According to the findings of the report, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, media multitaskers - those who can simultaneously perform media activities, like writing e-mail, watching YouTube, and talking on the phone - are actually "not very good" at any of the mentioned tasks.

On the basis of their testing of nearly 100 Stanford students, on the benchmark of 'focus', the researchers found that college students who habitually manage many flows of information - and juggle e-mails, web text, chats, phone calls, and videos - happened to be notably worse performers than their low-multitasking counterparts.

The researchers said in their report that compulsive media multitaskers are 'worse' than peers in terms of focusing attention, organizing information, and speedily switching between tasks. Commenting on the observation, Stanford communications professor Clifford Nass said: "Heavy multitaskers are lousy at multitasking... The more you do it, the worse you get."

Elaborating on the reason behind multitasking, Nass added: "There's a lot of social pressure to multitask. You're getting tweets, e-mails, IMs from multiple people at once, and the web offers unbelievable opportunities for text and video. It may be thrust upon you!"


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