Brains in Trouble

The Ineffectiveness of Multitasking




Nearly all of us are high-tech jugglers these days as we race to keep up with emails and instant message conversations while jumping between websites or watching television. But be aware that people who are regularly bombarded with multiple electronic media streams are paying a big mental price, according to recent research from Stanford University. “They’re suckers for irrelevancy,” concludes Professor Clifford Nass, who participated in the study. “Everything distracts them.”

The researchers found that heavy multitaskers consistently underperform those who prefer to complete one task at a time. Weaknesses include their inability to pay attention to detail, organize memory and switch from one job to the next.

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