Students learning

Media-multitasking performance

Help us out in this research study

What is the purpose of the study?

In the last few years with the advent of portable technology, media consumption has changed. Individuals now simultaneously engage with a variety of media through a number of devices, otherwise known as media multitasking. It is more prevalent in young adults with research suggesting it may relate to altered cognitive processes. These processes can be split into the way individuals attend and behaviourally respond to environmental information (inhibition), work with information held in mind (working memory) and effortlessly change their way of thinking (cognitive flexibility). They are fundamental in everyday life especially in academic performance. Therefore it is an emerging concern. Despite this, there is only a small and inconsistent evidence base. The purpose of the present study is to determine the relationship between media-multitasking performance and inhibition, working memory and cognitive flexibility. The research is part of a PhD thesis and is therefore led by a postgraduate researcher.

What is required?

If you decide to take part in the study you will be given a media-multitasking situation, and a series of short cognitive tasks to complete, this will take around two hours of your time in total. The media-multitasking situation consists of reading text, watching a video and receiving instant messages. The cognitive tasks are split into; attention tasks that will involve responding to stimuli on a computer screen with a button press, and memory tasks that will involve the remembering of spatial patterns or digits, or recalling items from long-term memory. The researcher will remain present throughout your completion of the media-multitasking situation and cognitive tasks to give you detailed instructions for each task and in case you have any further questions.

Further information

To find out more about this study, take a look at the participant information sheet.