Multi-Tasking and Attention

Multi-tasking (i.e. doing several things simultaneously) has often been considered in terms of what people “do” and not necessarily in terms of what people “think about” or how they allocate their attention among their tasks. The present research suggests that even when people are behaviorally focused on one task and are not multi-tasking, their minds may not be com- pletely focused on the task at hand. In other words, multi-tasking may not only be due to competing simultaneous demands, like receiving an email or a text message during a meeting, but may also be a function of how the mind operates in a context where people must manage multiple tasks, activities or responsibilities at the same time.

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