Driving and Cell Phones

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    No, not my usual lecture; instead, an interesting study demonstrating that a VERY small percentage of people may indeed be able to multitask without performance declines:


    What’s interesting about this is that if we do, indeed, have a few supertaskers in the population, it may help scientists learn more about the brain’s executive and attention mechanisms.

    LEST YOU ASSUME you are one of these people, and can drive and talk on your cell phone without endangering your fellows, note the following from the report:

    “… a recent study examining multi-tasking ability found that individuals who report multi-tasking more frequently do so less well than those who are less frequent multi-taskers (Ophir, Nass, & Wagner, 2009). Indeed, our studies over the last decade have found that a great many people have the belief that the laws of attention do not apply to them (e.g., they have seen other drivers who are impaired while multi-tasking, but they are the exception to the rule). In fact, some readers may also be wondering if they too are supertaskers; however, we suggest that the odds of this are against them.”

    The study found only 2.5% supertaskers.

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