Title
Can't see the forest for the trees? The effect of media multitasking on cognitive processing style Can't see the forest for the trees? The effect of media multitasking on cognitive processing style
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Applied Economics
Publication type
article
Publication
Mahwah, N.J. ,
Subject
Psychology
Mass communications
Source (journal)
Media psychology. - Mahwah, N.J., 1999, currens
Volume/pages
18(2015) :4 , p. 425-450
ISSN
1521-3269
ISI
000363698200001
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
Media multitasking represents an important aspect of the recent evolution in media consumption habits. While some experimental research exists, it has primarily focused on the detrimental effects of multitasking on task performance. We go a step further by examining the impact of media multitasking on information processing style. Study I demonstrates that media multitasking, compared to sequential media consumption, leads to a more local perceptual processing style. Furthermore, the frequency of media switching predicts the level of perceptual processing. Study II extends these findings by showing that media multitasking also affects conceptual processing style. Specifically, media multitasking leads to lower-level (or more concrete) construal of behaviors in a subsequent task. It further shows that conceptual rather than visual switching between media drives the observed differences in conceptual processing. These findings suggest that, as a growing phenomenon, media multitasking behavior may substantially alter the way media viewers process media content.
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