Event Title

Getting Nowhere Fast: Understanding the Role of Multitasking on Performance and Stress

Presenter Information

Jung-Jung Lee
Jose Rodriguez

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

College

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Major

Psychology

Location

Event Center A&B

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Donna Garcia

Start Date

5-27-2014 1:00 PM

End Date

5-27-2014 2:30 PM

Abstract

Multitasking, or the ability to perform multiple tasks simultaneously, is highly valued in society, especially in workplaces. More and more applicants list multi-tasking as a skill in their resumes, and many companies list this “skill” in job advertisements. The current value placed on multitasking begs the questions: Is there such a thing as multitasking and are some people better at it than other are? To address these questions, we are currently testing the effect of multitasking on performance, stress, selfefficacy, and self-esteem. Participants are coming to our lab to complete three common workplace tasks, which they complete in one of three ways. In the Multitasking Condition, participants are told they must respond “yes” whenever they are interrupted by a prompt that asks whether they wish to switch to the next task (they will be switched among the 3 tasks regularly). In the Sequential Tasking Interruption Control Condition, participants are told to respond “no” when they are interrupted by the same prompts. In the Sequential Tasking No-Interruption Control Condition (which has no prompts), participants are asked to complete the tasks one at a time, as they appear. We expect that relative to those in the sequential tasking conditions (with or without interruption), people in the multitasking condition will perform less well (i.e., make more errors and get less done) on the tasks, report lower self-efficacy and self-esteem, and report higher levels of stress. In other words, “multitaskers” will show the worse outcomes overall relative to those who sequentially task.

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May 27th, 1:00 PM May 27th, 2:30 PM

Getting Nowhere Fast: Understanding the Role of Multitasking on Performance and Stress

Event Center A&B

Multitasking, or the ability to perform multiple tasks simultaneously, is highly valued in society, especially in workplaces. More and more applicants list multi-tasking as a skill in their resumes, and many companies list this “skill” in job advertisements. The current value placed on multitasking begs the questions: Is there such a thing as multitasking and are some people better at it than other are? To address these questions, we are currently testing the effect of multitasking on performance, stress, selfefficacy, and self-esteem. Participants are coming to our lab to complete three common workplace tasks, which they complete in one of three ways. In the Multitasking Condition, participants are told they must respond “yes” whenever they are interrupted by a prompt that asks whether they wish to switch to the next task (they will be switched among the 3 tasks regularly). In the Sequential Tasking Interruption Control Condition, participants are told to respond “no” when they are interrupted by the same prompts. In the Sequential Tasking No-Interruption Control Condition (which has no prompts), participants are asked to complete the tasks one at a time, as they appear. We expect that relative to those in the sequential tasking conditions (with or without interruption), people in the multitasking condition will perform less well (i.e., make more errors and get less done) on the tasks, report lower self-efficacy and self-esteem, and report higher levels of stress. In other words, “multitaskers” will show the worse outcomes overall relative to those who sequentially task.