Honors Theses

Title

The Effects of Media Multitasking on Congitive Control

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Department of Psychology

Degree

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

Major

Psychology

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Abstract

Research has shown that heavy media multitaskers, people who engage in more than one form of media simultaneously, have a more difficult time distinguishing relevant from irrelevant stimuli when distractions are present (Ophir et al., 2009). Research has also shown that attention-related deficiencies are correlated with deficiencies in prefrontal cortex functioning. Further studies have determined that working memory and prefrontal cortex functioning are linked (Klingberg, 2002). This thesis aimes to examine how the amount of time people engage in media multitasking relates to performance on cognitive ability measures including working memory, attention control, and impulsivity. Results in the first study came back inconclusive with no correlation found between levels of media usage, attentional deficiencies, and performance on tasks of cognitive ability. The second experiment found heavier media-multitaskers performed worse on tests measuring proactive cognitive control.

Publication Date

12-1-2017

First Advisor

Moss, Jarrod

Second Advisor

Elder, Anastasia

Third Advisor

Anderson, Thomas

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