- It has always been thought that multitasking leads to poor performance, but that idea may now be a thing of the past. Researchers have found the opposite to be true for adolescents.
- During the study, it was found that young high-media multitaskers were better at weeding out distractions but performed worse when asked to focus on a single task. Low multitaskers were less able to filter out distractions but seemed to focus better on single tasks.
- The study shows that people who have grown up with a lot of different media devices have developed an improved working memory and seem to perform better in distracting environments.
What do you think this is going to affect as younger generations join the workforce?
- A study in the journal Psychology and Aging has shown substantial differences in brain function throughout the day for older adults.
- A group of younger adults (aged 19-30) and a group of older adults (aged 60-82) participated in a series of memory tests with built in distractions. During the test, each participant’s brain was scanned to show which areas were activating. During the 1-5pm test, older adults were 10% more likely to get distracted. However, they performed noticeably better during the morning test and were even shown to activate the same areas of the brain that the young adults did.
- This information shows that as a person ages, they are better able to focus and ignore distractions in the morning than in the afternoon; suggesting that more mentally-challenging tasks be scheduled earlier in the day.
Food for thought regarding when and what you talk about, at what time of the day, and with whom–depending on age (started sounding like Dr. Seuss there for a minute!)