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Multitasking Limits in the Popular Press

I was pleased to see this article in the NYTimes about the limits of multitasking.  Psychologists have long known that the brain can handle only so much taxation at once before performance declines.  Of course it depends on the nature of the task, but many people think certain things (e.g., driving, watching out for other people) are less effortful than they are.

Part of the problem is that we don’t see the problem until it’s too late.  If I’m making a phone call while I’m driving, and other people are able to avoid an accident with me, I don’t realize that I’ve been a hazard, so I’m reinforced with the belief that I can multitask just fine.  Wait until one of those other people is on the phone and hits me, and then I’ll blame his or her lack of ability!

25 March 2007 Posted by | Cognitive, Physiological | Leave a comment