Presentation Title

Improving Multitasking Ability through Verbal Memory Training

Start Date

November 2016

End Date

November 2016

Location

HUB 302-179

Type of Presentation

Poster

Abstract

Studies have shown poor performance under multitasking conditions compared to single-task conditions (Morrin & Fischer, 2007). However, real-life jobs like emergency medicine and law enforcement unavoidably demand multitasking processing (Ledrick, Fisher, Thompson, & Sniadanko, 2009). Moreover, research has shown individual differences in multitasking performance (Fischer, Mautone, Morrin, & Joselyn, 2007). Given the demands on multitasking, and individual differences in the performance of such, a practical consideration is to determine whether multitasking can be taught or at least improved. Previous research suggests that the individual differences in multitasking are strongly related to variation in working memory capacity (Bühner, König, Pick, & Krumm, 2006; Bai, Jones, & Moss, 2014). Therefore it may be that working memory is a moderating variable that would influence how well an individual would improve in their multitasking abilities. The current study investigated the relationship between two measures of working memory, spatial and verbal, and an existing multitasking measure (Unsworth, Heitz, Schrock, & Engle, 2005; Fischer et al., 2007). In addition, we attempted to improve performance on multitasking through a verbal memory intervention. The intervention was administered one-third of the way through the Multitasking Ability Test (MTAT) in the anticipation that it could help improve the individual’s memory and encourage better performance on the MTAT. Results indicated that multitasking performance was improved by memory intervention. In addition, working memory ability measures were strongly related to multitasking performance, contributing to a large variance. Findings suggest that performance in certain multitasking situations can be improved through training in verbal memory.

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Nov 12th, 1:00 PM Nov 12th, 2:00 PM

Improving Multitasking Ability through Verbal Memory Training

HUB 302-179

Studies have shown poor performance under multitasking conditions compared to single-task conditions (Morrin & Fischer, 2007). However, real-life jobs like emergency medicine and law enforcement unavoidably demand multitasking processing (Ledrick, Fisher, Thompson, & Sniadanko, 2009). Moreover, research has shown individual differences in multitasking performance (Fischer, Mautone, Morrin, & Joselyn, 2007). Given the demands on multitasking, and individual differences in the performance of such, a practical consideration is to determine whether multitasking can be taught or at least improved. Previous research suggests that the individual differences in multitasking are strongly related to variation in working memory capacity (Bühner, König, Pick, & Krumm, 2006; Bai, Jones, & Moss, 2014). Therefore it may be that working memory is a moderating variable that would influence how well an individual would improve in their multitasking abilities. The current study investigated the relationship between two measures of working memory, spatial and verbal, and an existing multitasking measure (Unsworth, Heitz, Schrock, & Engle, 2005; Fischer et al., 2007). In addition, we attempted to improve performance on multitasking through a verbal memory intervention. The intervention was administered one-third of the way through the Multitasking Ability Test (MTAT) in the anticipation that it could help improve the individual’s memory and encourage better performance on the MTAT. Results indicated that multitasking performance was improved by memory intervention. In addition, working memory ability measures were strongly related to multitasking performance, contributing to a large variance. Findings suggest that performance in certain multitasking situations can be improved through training in verbal memory.