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Article
Publication date: 15 January 2021

Xingyu Chen, Yitong Wang, Da Tao, Ling Jiang and Shaobo Li

Smartphone multitasking behavior has become prevalent in our daily lives, yet factors influencing smartphone multitasking behavior have not been fully investigated. This…

Abstract

Purpose

Smartphone multitasking behavior has become prevalent in our daily lives, yet factors influencing smartphone multitasking behavior have not been fully investigated. This study aimed to examine the roles of a set of demographic, personality and motivational factors on smartphone multitasking behavior, and how these factors were related to general and application-specific types of smartphone multitasking behavior.

Design/methodology/approach

A cross-sectional study was conducted in which 2,659 smartphone users were invited to complete an online survey on smartphone multitasking behavior. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses were used to examine the roles of demographic, personality and motivational factors on smartphone multitasking behavior.

Findings

The results showed that, in general, demographic factors, such as gender, age, occupation status, education and smartphone usage time significantly predicted smartphone multitasking behavior. People characterized by agreeableness, extraversion, neuroticism and openness to experience were more likely to multitask with smartphones. Information seeking, efficiency and habit motivations were identified as major motivational factors for smartphone multitasking behavior. The roles of demographic, personality and motivational factors differed much across varied types of application-specific smartphone multitasking behavior.

Originality/value

This study extends and advances the literature on media multitasking, smartphone multitasking in particular, by identifying a set of demographic, personality and motivational factors as antecedents of smartphone multitasking behavior. In addition, this study revealed the differentiated roles of the above-mentioned factors across varied types of smartphone application usages. The findings provide important implications for practitioners to tailor smartphone applications and services to different target smartphone users and use situations.

Details

Internet Research, vol. 31 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

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Article
Publication date: 15 December 2021

Jiutong Luo, Pui-Sze Yeung and Hui Li

The longitudinal impact of media multitasking on the development of executive function has been understudied, as most of the existing studies are cross-sectional. This…

Abstract

Purpose

The longitudinal impact of media multitasking on the development of executive function has been understudied, as most of the existing studies are cross-sectional. This longitudinal study addresses this research gap and uses multiple measures, i.e. behavioral and self-reported, to explore the impact of media multitasking on the executive function of Chinese adolescents.

Design/methodology/approach

This study followed 99 Chinese adolescents (Mage = 14.41, SD = 1.10; 42 boys and 57 girls) for one year using both behavioral (2-back, Stroop Color and Number-letter tasks) and self-reported (questionnaire) measures. The adolescents were categorized as either heavy/high media multitaskers (HMMs; 19 boys and 29 girls) or light/low media multitaskers (LMMs; 23 boys and 28 girls). They were tested at baseline, 6 months later and 12 months later.

Findings

The results indicated that the accuracy scores for all cognitive tasks differed with age, but the switch-cost in the shifting task and the self-reported measures of executive function did not. And there were consistent differences between the HMMs and LMMs in the self-reported measures and 2-back accuracy. However, the interaction effect was found only in shifting ability, indicating a decline in the LMMs' self-reported problematic shifting behavior in daily life.

Originality/value

This study used behavioral and self-reported measures to confirm the longitudinal impact of media multitasking on executive function. The impact of media multitasking on executive function is more apparent in daily-life behavior than in cognitive task performance.

Details

Internet Research, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

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Book part
Publication date: 29 December 2016

Claire M. Segijn

This chapter aims to provide an overview and conceptualization of multiscreening in the field of advertising effectiveness.

Abstract

Purpose

This chapter aims to provide an overview and conceptualization of multiscreening in the field of advertising effectiveness.

Methodology/approach

By means of the multi-dimensions of media multitasking, it is possible to differentiate different forms of media multitasking. This framework is used to describe and explain the phenomenon of multiscreening. The framework consists of four categories each with its own dimensions: (1) task relations (e.g., task hierarchy, task switch, shared modality), (2) task inputs (e.g., information flow), (3) task outputs (e.g., behavioral responses), and (4) user differences. The description of multiscreening per dimensions is completed with a review of recent literature in the field of multiscreening, media multitasking and persuasion.

Practical implications

Literature in the field of media multitasking often assumes detrimental effects. Practical implications for advertisers are discussed by presenting an overview of the existing literature on multiscreening and advertising effectiveness. At the end of the chapter, a summary of the different dimensions is presented and an answer is formulated to the question: Is multiscreening a challenge or opportunity for advertisers?

Research implications

In addition to practical implications, this chapter also offers an overview of the current research in the field of multiscreening and advertising effects. By presenting recent literature in this field, it becomes clear where knowledge is lacking. Directions for future research are discussed.

Originality/value

This chapter is the first to present a structured overview of the phenomenon of multiscreening. It will provide practitioners and researchers with the current status in the field of multiscreening and advertising effectiveness. In addition, the chapter can also be seen as a guide for future directions in the field of multiscreening.

Details

Advertising in New Formats and Media
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-312-9

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Article
Publication date: 6 June 2019

Emma Beuckels, Snezhanka Kazakova, Veroline Cauberghe, Liselot Hudders and Patrick De Pelsmacker

Past research suggests that heavy media multitaskers (HMMs) perform worse on tasks that require executive control, compared to light media multitaskers (LMMs). This paper…

Abstract

Purpose

Past research suggests that heavy media multitaskers (HMMs) perform worse on tasks that require executive control, compared to light media multitaskers (LMMs). This paper aims to investigate whether individual differences between HMMs and LMMs make them respond differently to advertising in a media multitasking context and whether this stems from differences in the ability versus the motivation to regulate one’s attention. This is investigated by manipulating participants’ autonomy over attention allocation.

Design/methodology/approach

For the first study (n = 85), a between subjects design with three conditions was used: sequential, multitasking under low autonomy over attention allocation and multitasking under high autonomy over attention allocation. This study investigated the inhibitory control of HMMs vs LMMs in a very controlled multitasking setting. The second study (n = 91) replicated the design of study one in a more naturalistic media multitasking setting and investigated the driving role of motivation vs ability for cognitive load differences between HMMs and LMMs and the consequent impact on advertising effectiveness.

Findings

Study I suggests that HMMs perform worse on a response inhibition task than LMMs after multitasking freely (in which case motivation to regulate attention determines the process), but not after their attention was guided externally by the experimenter (in which case their motivation could no longer determine the process). Study II argues that when motivation to switch attention is at play, cognitive load differences occur between HMMs and LMMs. This study additionally reveals that under these circumstances, HMMs are more persuaded by advertisements (report higher purchase intentions) compared to LMMs, while no differences appear when only ability is at play.

Research limitations/implications

Executive control exists of different components (Miyake et al., 2000). The current study only focused on the impact of media multitasking frequency on response inhibition, but it would be interesting for future research to investigate whether media multitasking frequency equally affects the other sub-dimensions. Additionally, the impairment of response inhibition has been shown to predict a large number of other behavioral and impulse-control outcomes such as unhealthy food choices and alcohol and drug use (e.g. Friese et al., 2008). Future research should consider investigating other consequences of heavy media multitasking behavior, both advertising related and unrelated.

Practical implications

From a practical point of view, understanding the mechanisms that are driving the effects of media multitasking on advertising effectiveness for different groups of media-consumers could make it easier for practitioners to efficiently plan their media campaigns. Based on the findings of this study, the authors can derive that HMMs will be more depleted in cognitive resources and inhibitory control when media multitasking compared to LMMs. Consequently, this makes them more prone to advertising messages. This knowledge is of great importance for advertisers who could, based here on, aim to target HMMs more often than LMMs.

Originality/value

Two experimental studies by the authors confirm and add value to previous academic findings about the negative relation between media multitasking frequency and tasks that demand executive control. This study contributed to the previous by investigating whether individual differences between heavy and light media multitaskers make them respond differently toward advertising and whether the driving mechanism of these differences is a lack of motivation or ability to efficiently shift attention.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 53 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 11 September 2017

Helen R. Robinson

The purpose of this paper is to uncover the underlying motives for individuals’ polychronicity, the preference to multitask with media.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to uncover the underlying motives for individuals’ polychronicity, the preference to multitask with media.

Design/methodology/approach

For this exploratory study, a qualitative research design is chosen, using face-to-face in-depth interviews and triad groups. In total, 34 in-depth interviews are conducted in the UK, Germany and Australia, with four subsequent triads in the UK.

Findings

The underlying motives for individuals’ preference for multiple media use include eight dimensions: comfort with multitasking; multi-channel preference; effectiveness and efficiency; convenience; emotional gratification; information and knowledge; social benefits and assimilation.

Research limitations/implications

A non-probability sample of a specific sample group (Digital Natives) is used in this study and despite the reassurance provided by quality criteria and triangulation, generalisation from this study is problematic. Future research to validate the eight exposed dimensions would be valuable.

Practical implications

For marketing communications and media channel planners, endeavouring to optimise clients’ budgets, the unique knowledge provided by the depth of understanding offered by the eight dimensions of polychronicity and their associated facets enables the development of relevant communication campaigns.

Originality/value

This paper presents a unique insight into individuals’ preference for multiple media use, uncovering the underlying dimensions of this behavioural phenomenon. Accordingly, this study makes a valuable contribution to knowledge in this emerging research domain.

Details

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 20 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-2752

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Article
Publication date: 20 October 2020

A.K.M. Najmul Islam, Eoin Whelan and Stoney Brooks

This paper investigates the moderating role of multitasking computer self-efficacy on the relationship between social media affordances and social media overload as well…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper investigates the moderating role of multitasking computer self-efficacy on the relationship between social media affordances and social media overload as well as its moderation between social media overload and social media fatigue.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors hypothesize that social media affordances will have a positive impact on social media overload (i.e. information and communication overload). They also hypothesize that social media overload will affect social media fatigue. In addition, they hypothesize that multitasking computer self-efficacy will attenuate the effect of social media affordances on both information overload and communication overload. Similarly, they also hypothesize that multitasking computer self-efficacy will attenuate the effects of both information overload and communication overload on fatigue. The authors test this model by collecting two-wave data from 220 professionals using PLS techniques.

Findings

Social media affordances have significant impacts on information overload, but not on communication overload. In turn, information overload and communication overload significantly affect social media fatigue. Multitasking computer self-efficacy was found to attenuate the effect of social media affordances on both information overload and communication overload. Furthermore, the study results suggest that multitasking computer self-efficacy attenuates the effect of information overload and reinforces the effect of communication overload on social media fatigue.

Originality/value

Most prior literature focused on students rather than on professionals. There is a lack of research that investigates how the affordances of social media relate to social media overload and fatigue. Furthermore, research that investigates mitigating mechanisms of social media fatigue has been rare. This paper fills these important research gaps.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 34 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

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Article
Publication date: 8 December 2020

Daniel B. Le Roux and Douglas A. Parry

Online vigilance is a novel construct which describes individual differences in users' cognitive orientation to online connectedness, their attention to and integration of…

Abstract

Purpose

Online vigilance is a novel construct which describes individual differences in users' cognitive orientation to online connectedness, their attention to and integration of online-related cues and stimuli and their prioritisation of online communication. Its proponents argue that it is acquired through the processes of instrumental and attentional training that underlie media use behaviours. The purpose of the present study is to investigate the role of three personal characteristics (emotional intelligence, rumination and identity distress) as predictors of online vigilance in addition to media use behaviour.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors adopted an exploratory frame and followed a survey-methodology to collect data among a sample of university students (n = 812). The resulting data were analysed through a hierarchical multiple regression process in which four models were considered.

Findings

The findings indicate that while media use behaviours (daily smartphone use, social media use, messaging, video watching and media multitasking) predict online vigilance, their combined effect is weak. However, when considering these behaviours in combination with trait rumination and identity distress, a moderate effect is observable.

Research limitations/implications

While the findings do not permit causal inference, it suggests that two personal characteristics, trait rumination and identity distress, play an important role in determining an individual's tendency or ability to psychologically disconnect from their online spheres. This provides an initial step towards the theorisation of online vigilance and the identification of individuals who may be at risk of acquiring it.

Originality/value

Online vigilance is a novel construct which has only been investigated in a small number of studies. However, its emphasis on psychological connectedness presents a unique and important development in the context of permanently online, permanently connected living. The present study is the first to explore its association with personal characteristics.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

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Article
Publication date: 7 July 2020

Adetoun A. Oyelude

Abstract

Details

Library Hi Tech News, vol. 37 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0741-9058

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Article
Publication date: 25 January 2019

Liping Deng, Kelly Yee Lai Ku and Qiuyi Kong

The study aims to give a descriptive account of university students’ engagement with non-learning-related activities during class time and explore the relationship between…

Abstract

Purpose

The study aims to give a descriptive account of university students’ engagement with non-learning-related activities during class time and explore the relationship between off-task multitasking and learning. The predictive factors for off-task multitasking from individual, social and class-related dimensions are also examined.

Design/methodology/approach

Contextualized in a comprehensive university in Hong Kong, the study adopts a survey design and involves 79 samples.

Findings

The data show that Hong Kong university students are avid users of mobile phones and heavily engage with digital devices. Off-task multitasking with mobile phones is a common phenomenon, yet not related to learning performance. Among the various media and apps on mobile phones, instant messenger stands out as the most frequently used app on a daily basis and inside the classroom. The individual device-use habit and classroom engagement are significant predictors for off-task multitasking during class time.

Practical implications

This paper will allow teachers and students to be more aware of the causes and effects of off-task multitasking behaviors during class time and derive practical guidance and strategies to pay heed to and resist the disruptive influence of technologies on learning.

Originality/value

The existing scholarly work show a mixed and incomplete picture regarding the effects and determining factors of students’ multitasking. This study includes three variables from individual, social and teaching/learning dimensions and seeks to evaluate their predictive strengths. The results of the study will deepen our understanding of the patterns of off-task multitasking.

Details

Interactive Technology and Smart Education, vol. 16 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-5659

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Article
Publication date: 12 March 2020

Derek E. Crews and Molly J. Russ

The study's purpose was to explore the impact of multitasking on efficiency and accuracy and the relationship between individual differences and multitasking ability.

Abstract

Purpose

The study's purpose was to explore the impact of multitasking on efficiency and accuracy and the relationship between individual differences and multitasking ability.

Design/methodology/approach

An experimental study was conducted with individuals that completed an in-box exercise and a personality assessment. Three groups were established as follows: those that completed the in-box exercise without interruption (control group), those that were given a portion of the same initial task but were then interrupted and given an additional task (low multitask group) and those that were given the same initial tasks, then interrupted three times (high multitask group).

Findings

The results show that there were significant effects of gender and age on multitasking efficiency. Females made fewer errors than males. Younger and older participants took more time to complete the experiment, which indicates an inverted U relationship and may mean that people become more effective at multitasking with experience and practice, but then less effective as they get older. The study also found that personality had no significant effect on multitasking efficiency.

Research limitations/implications

The study was limited in that the sample was 91 percent female, did not include anyone over the age of 51 and did not measure intelligence or experience.

Practical implications

The findings may have implications for employee training, evaluation and formulation of workplace standards and regulations.

Orginality/value

This study provides empirical research extending the understanding of the nature and impact of multitasking and individual differences based on gender, age and personality.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 69 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

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