Multimedia-minded and distracted? Evidence from a large-scale replication study

Wisnu Wiradhany, Mark Nieuwenstein

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterAcademic


Is media multitasking – that is, the concurrent use of different media in daily life – associated with an impairment in information processing? Recent research has provided mixed evidence for this claim, as some have found that media multitasking is associated with increased susceptibility to distractors, whereas others have found that it is associated with a more general impairment, and yet others have found no difference in performance. Here, we report the results of a large-scale replication study (N = 261) in which performance and distractibility were measured in a visual change detection task. Using a Bayes factors analysis, our results showed that heavy (N=63) compared to light (N=62) media multitaskers showed no increased susceptibility to distractors (BF01 = 23.26). In addition, an analysis including all participants showed no correlation between media multitasking and overall performance (BF01 = 12.22). Taken together, these findings dispell the recent claim that the frequency of media multitasking in daily life is associated with impaired information processing in the lab.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventPsychonomic Society's 57th Annual Meeting - Boston, Boston, United States
Duration: 17-Nov-201620-Nov-2016
Conference number: 57


ConferencePsychonomic Society's 57th Annual Meeting
Abbreviated titlePsychonomics
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address


  • media multitasking
  • cognitive control
  • change detection
  • working memory

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