Education free essay: Article summary
The article titled Does Multitasking Impair Studying? Depends on Timing contains a study that was meant to determine whether or not multitasking interferes with learning among students. The authors of the article, Pashler, Kang and IP (593), agreed to the fact that multitasking can affect concentration when undertaking tasks such as driving. For example, multitasking can lead to an accident when driving. The effects of multitasking can be harmful. The researchers noted that there was a lack of significant studies focusing on how multitasking affects learning among students. The few studies focusing on multitasking did not provide empirical evidence on the ultimate impact in real world settings, such as in educational settings. As Pashler, Kang and IP (593) noted, however, scholars have researched extensively to determine how the memory of a stimuli in the mind is affected by a secondary stimuli. The results derived from those studies indicate that the extent to which primary sensory inputs are retaining in the memory is impaired by secondary primary inputs even when the two types of sensory inputs do not occur in modality. The impairment is caused by interference of the storage process of the primary sensory inputs by the secondary sensory inputs. A previous study conducted by Fox, Rosen, and Crawford in 2007 on the impact of multitasking on comprehension among students did not find significant effect on multitasking, although the timing for multitasking was not limited (Pashler, Kang and IP 594). The topic is of great significance considering the fact that many students today are compelled to carry out multiple tasks that are not related to education as they continue undertaking their studies. In this consideration, Pashler, Kang and IP (593) sought to determine whether or not timing affects the results of multitasking when learning.
Pashler, Kang and IP (593) conducted three experiments. The participants in all the three experiments were undergraduate students studying at University of California. The first and second experiments were conducted on 109 students each whereas the third experiment was conducted on 82 students. In the first experiment, the researchers asked a portion of the participants to read three different narrative passages. The participants were interrupted during the reading process, either randomly or at specific intervals to engage in a different task that involved text messaging. A portion of the participants, which was the control group, was not interrupted during the reading process (Pashler, Kang and IP 594). In the second experiment, the contents of the readings were audio-taped. When listening to the audio-taped narratives, the participants were interrupted just like in the first experiment and there was a control group. In the third experiment, the participants were interrupted as they continued listening to the audio-taped narratives. The4 control group was not interrupted when listening.
In the first and second experiments, Pashler, Kang and IP (596) did not find significant impact of multitasking on the level of comprehension among the participants. In the third experiment, however, the results indicated that “there was a significant decrease in performance on the comprehension test for subjects in the MT-Random condition, relative to the Listen-only condition” (Pashler, Kang and IP, 596). This implies that the impact of multitasking when learning depends on timing. If the students pause from learning to undertake other tasks, their level of comprehension may not be affected. However, the level of comprehension may be affected if they learn and undertake other tasks simultaneously.
Pashler, Harold, Sean H. K. Kang and Renita Y. IP. “Does Multitasking Impair Studying?
Depends on Timing,” Applied Cognitive Psychology 27.5 (2013): 593-599. Academic Search Complete. Web. 17 February. 2017.
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