So, you think you are good at multi-tasking? You can play a computer game and talk to your mother on the phone at the same time? Or, you can bounce your baby on your hip while making a chocolate cake? Think again.
Even though you may be good at multi-tasking in some situations, researchers at Ohio State University found that multi-tasking can be especially difficult when the multi-tasking involves the same stimuli. For example, it’s hard to carry on two simultaneous conversations but it’s easier to say, watch TV and carry on a conversation. When two visual stimuli are presented such as in driving and texting, ones performance degrades.
In the Ohio State University study, Behavioral performance and visual attention in communication multitasking: A comparison between instant messaging and online voice chat published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior, participants performed visual pattern-matching tasks while instant messaging and while using voice chat. Participants performed less successfully when they were instant messaging and performing the task, however, participants were not aware of their drop in performance.
“People’s perception about how well they’re doing doesn’t match up with how they actually perform,” said Zheng Wang one of the study’s authors.
Implications for Texting and Driving
This study discusses the implications of multi-tasking on distracted driving and perhaps demonstrates that, while many drivers believe they are good at multi-tasking and can successfully text and drive, their perceptions may be wrong.
With up to 25% of car accidents involving cell phone usage, according to the National Safety Council, one is advised to resist the urge to text and drive.
This information is provided by Washington Injury Attorney blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents.
If you believe your car accident was caused by someones negligent use of a cell phone, read
What if my accident was caused by someone using a cell phone?