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Bad Multitaskers

February 12, 2013

People who multitask the most are probably the ones who should multitask the least.



Overconfident multitaskers.I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Think you’re especially good at driving while talking on the phone? Well, new research suggests you’re probably not. What’s more, the very people who think they’

re great at multitasking are probably the worst at it. That’s the sobering conclusion reached by University of Utah cognitive scientist David Sanbonmatsu and his colleagues.

DAVID SANBONMATSU (University of Utah):

One would think that people who multitask the most should be good at it. But our research shows that, well, in many instances people multitask because they have difficulties focusing on a single task. They get distracted. They get drawn into tasks that are of secondary importance.


His team also found that people who believe they’re good at multitasking are more likely to use a cell phone while driving – but these same people are the ones least able to multitask well. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.

Habitual multitaskers overestimate how good they are at juggling multiple activities. (Ed Poor/Wikipedia)