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Title: Media multitasking predicts unitary versus splitting visual focal attention
Authors: Yap, J.Y.
Lim, S.W.H. 
Keywords: Individual differences
Splitting visual attention
Issue Date: 1-Nov-2013
Citation: Yap, J.Y., Lim, S.W.H. (2013-11-01). Media multitasking predicts unitary versus splitting visual focal attention. Journal of Cognitive Psychology 25 (7) : 889-902. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Research evidence now suggests that the deployment of multiple attentional foci in noncontiguous locations (i.e., splitting visual focal attention) is possible under some circumstances. However, the exact circumstances under which focal attention might split have not been well understood. Here, we examined the possibility that ecological differences arising from our increasingly media-saturated environment result in individual differences in the capacity to demonstrate splitting focal attention. The Media Multitasking Index (MMI) was used to assess the extent to which participants engaged in media multitasking - the consumption of more than one stream of media content at the same time. Capacity to split attention was assessed with a paradigm previously employed by McCormick, Klein, and Johnston. The present data suggest a significant relationship between the behavioural preference for consuming multiple media forms simultaneously and the capacity to employ a split mode of attention. Specifically, High-MMI participants (who tend to consume multiple visual media forms simultaneously) adopted a splitting mode of visual attention, whereas Low-MMI participants (who tend to consume fewer visual media forms simultaneously) adopted a unitary mode of attention. These data advanced our understanding of the circumstances under which visual focal attention might split. Implications and future directions are discussed. © 2013 Taylor & Francis.
Source Title: Journal of Cognitive Psychology
ISSN: 20445911
DOI: 10.1080/20445911.2013.835315
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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