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Multi-tasking. Yeah right!

Listening to ‘Life Matters’ on Radio National today (24th Dec) I heard Professor David E. Meyer from the Cognition and Perception Program of the Department of Psychology University of Michigan talking about multi-tasking…So when parents ask their teenagers ‘can you really write your essay and update FACEBOOK at the same time?’ and the answer comes back: ‘Yes I can.’ Often with the added suggestion that today’s kids can do stuff we can’t coz they grew up with it (they ARE the digital natives after all, right?)…so when this conversation happens, remember what David Meyer has to say. And it goes something like this..if you are doing simple tasks and using different parts of your brain to do them, then yes, you may be able to multi-task. If you are doing competing things especially if they are a bit complex, then you will ‘absorb a cost’ in either or both tasks, in the form of performance, efficiency and/or speed.

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