Is there a link between media-multitasking and the executive functions of filtering and response inhibition?
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Media-multitasking refers to utilising at least two forms of media simultaneously. This study examined the link between media-multitasking and the inhibitory control executive function. Performance on measures of filtering (flanker task) and inhibitory response control (Go/No-Go task) were compared across heavy media multitaskers (HMM), average media multitaskers (AMM) and light media multitaskers (LMM). For both tasks performance was better under low than high perceptual load conditions. For the flanker task, there was an effect of distractor congruency only for the low perceptual load and no performance differences between the media groups. For the Go/No-Go task, there was a distractor congruency effect for the LMM and HMM for the Go-trials. For the No-Go trials there was no difference between the groups’ performance in the low perceptual load condition. The AMM were more adversely affected by the higher perceptual load than the LMM or HMM particularly when the distractors were incongruent and neutral relative to the targets. These results suggest a link between average levels of media-multitasking and the inhibitory control executive function.
Computers in Human Behavior
Psychology not elsewhere classified