Individual difference and task factors related to multitasking success

Pollard, Megan (2016) Individual difference and task factors related to multitasking success. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Many aspects of one’s daily life require multitasking in order to accomplish tasks. This study investigated individuals’ multitasking success on two different types of task and the relationship between task performance and specified individual difference factors. The tasks were a study and recall of text task and a simulated making breakfast task. Three questions were addressed: (1) how well do students recall text material studied under different levels of distraction from a competing video; (2) how do individual differences in working memory, GPA, polychronicity, and perceived multitasking ability relate to performance on the study task and the simulated making breakfast task; (3) is there a relation between effective multitasking on the two tasks, and do successful multitaskers on each task share any individual difference characteristics? Results indicated that multitasking leads to performance decrements in the retention and recall of material. Examination of the individual difference factors revealed that working memory, specifically having a higher working memory capacity, was a key factor in successful performance during both experimental tasks.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 12429
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 68-80).
Keywords: multitasking, individual differences, polychronicity, working memory, perceived ability
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Psychology
Science, Faculty of > Psychology
Date: October 2016
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Human multitasking; Individual differences; Short-term memory

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