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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/25409

Title: On the Benefits of Distractibility? Inhibitory Control in Media Multitaskers
Authors: Anderson, John Arnold Edward
Advisor: Hasher, Lynn
Grady, Cheryl L.
Department: Psychology
Keywords: media multitasking
divided attention
reading with distraction
Issue Date: 14-Dec-2010
Abstract: A study by Ophir, Nass & Wagner found that younger adults who are heavy media multitaskers (HMM) perform worse on cognitive measures assessing inhibitory control. Previous findings indicated no benefit to being an HMM, however extrapolating from the aging literature wherein older adults can use distraction beneficially, the authors hypothesized that HMMs might show parallel gains. Two tasks (Reading with Distraction, and the Flanker task) are reported with regard to trait media multitasking preference in undergraduates. As expected, LMMs generally outperformed HMMs, but less consistently than predicted. The hypothesis was not proven; media multitaskers, while 4x more likely to recognize the implicit nature of the task, were not more likely to use previously distracting information suggesting that a different mechanism is operating in HMMs than older adults who readily use this information.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/25409
Appears in Collections:Master
Department of Psychology - Master theses

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