Recent studies on media-multitasking focus on the long-term cognitive changes that occur when one consistently media multitasks; this research has led to two contradictory points of view. The debate surrounding high volume media multitaskers is based on the existence or absence of individual’s long-term detriments in attention, task switching and filtering of irrelevant details.
The great debate over the impact of media multitasking was ignited by an influential study by Ophir, Nass and Wagner (2009). Their study utilized a Media Multitasking Index (MMI) that assessed individual’s media consumption, and divided participants into two groups: high media multitaskers (HMM) and low media multitaskers (LMM). In studies testing filtering ability, HMMs were less selective for irrelevant information (from the environment) entering their working memories, which made th...
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...participants regarding this stimulus. After this test, the participants will immediately complete a SART test to assess their task-switching abilities. We hypothesize that the two relevant stimuli presented in the vigilance test will be detected equally by LMMs and HMMs, which can add further contradictory evidence to disprove the top-down theory presented by Ophir and colleagues (2013). Additionally, we predict that the covert stimulus in the vigilance test will be detected more frequently by HMMs than LMMs; if true, this finding would further strengthen the claim that HMMs engage in useful breadth-biased attention, in accordance with Lin (2009). Lastly, we predict that the SART test will show no significant differences between the groups, which could show that frequent and infrequent media multitasking has little to no cognitive effect on task-switching abilities.
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