Tonight’s blogs are brought to you by my professor’s trip to Paris. Our assignment is to blog about two articles from 2014, unrelated to our field of research. Therefore, I bring you Part 1 of a 2-part series of blogs (you can find Part Deux here).
This is the first intriguing article I found: What else do college students “do” while studying? An investigation of multitasking.
In this study, Calderman, et al. (2014) looked at the effects of self-efficacy and task motivation to participate in distracting media use (e.g., cell phones, social media, music) while completing homework assignments outside of class. On average, over the course of a 3-hour study session, students spent an aggregated 25 minutes engaging in multitasking/distracting behaviors and 73 minutes listening to music while completing homework assignments. As would likely be expected, higher levels of self-efficacy and task motivation were associated with less multimedia use while studying; in layman’s terms, those who were more inclined to finish their homework were less distracted by their cell phones. Fatigue was also linked to longer durations of indulging in distracting endeavors, meaning that the more weary the student, the longer he or she allowed themselves to be distracted.
In order to record the students’ level of distraction, the authors used surveillance cameras positioned in a controlled environment to monitor the students. The level of distraction caused by these cameras was shown to be minimal (Calderman, et al., 2014). However, I find this to be surprising; here are two of the recording devices used in the study:
Pictured above: not as distracting as Facebook.