Multitasking Minds

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Multitasking in the park. (Flickr/CarbonNYC)
Multitasking in the park. (Flickr/CarbonNYC)

Americans love to be horrified by multitasking. Well, some Americans.
For many younger Americans, it’s just life. Especially “media multitasking.” Phoning, texting, reading, tweeting, with a movie on the laptop, a video chat in the corner, IM on the side. And — God forbid — maybe driving, too.
A new study out of Stanford seems to confirm the worst fears about multitasking — that in the midst of all the “multi,” nothing gets done well. This hour, we’ll talk with an author of that study — and with two twenty-somethings who say it’s just life.
You can join the conversation. Tell us what you think — here on this page, on Twitter, and on Facebook.Guests:

Joining us from Stanford, Calif., is Clifford Nass, professor of communications at Stanford University. He founded and directs the CHIMe Lab for the study of "communication between humans and interactive media." The results of his multitasking study were published in the Aug. 24 edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. You can read it here.

From Pittsburgh, we're joined by Marcel Just, professor of psychology at Carnegie Mellon University, where he co-directs the Center for Cognitive Brain Imaging.

Joining us in our studio is Vivian Ho, a junior at Boston University. She's editor-in-chief of Boston University's Daily Free Press.

Also in our studio we're joined by Jack Lepiarz, a senior at Emerson College in Boston. He's the news director for WERS, the Emerson College radio station.

This program aired on September 29, 2009.


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