Multi-Tasking Making Gen Y The Dumb Generation

I used to think that Steve Rubel was a pretty smart guy but now it seems he's just another dude taking an easy ride on the Gen Y bandwagon.

Steve says "the Attention Crash is entirely generational".

The Gen Yer's, it seems, do a far better job of coping with massive amounts of information. It's not uncommon for a lot of folks to be running Meebo with a dozen IM windows going at once, Facebooking, emailing and talking on the phone. And they're productive! Those of you who have kids I am sure see the same in your home.

Yeah right, Steve. But some people think otherwise. And, unlike you, they aren't basing their judgements on haphazard impressions.

In 2005, Glenn Wilson of the University of London did a study on multi-tasking for HP and found that people "distracted by incoming email and phone calls saw a 10-point fall in their IQ - more than twice that found in studies of the impact of smoking marijuana."

"René Marois of Vanderbilt University, used scans to track what happens when the brain is forced to respond to several stimuli at once. Marois found that task-switching leads to time lost as the brain determines which task to perform."

And, Russel Poldrack, of the University of California, Los Angeles, claims that when you are distracted, you use a different area of the brain for learning and storing new information.

"Brain scans of people who are distracted or multitasking show activity in the striatum, a region of the brain involved in learning new skills; brain scans of people who are not distracted show activity in the hippocampus, a region involved in storing and recalling information. "

"We're really built to focus," Poldrack says, "And when we sort of force ourselves to multitask, we're driving ourselves to perhaps be less efficient in the long run even though it sometimes feels like we're being more efficient."

Jane Healy, an educational psychologist worries that young people today are getting used to "very quick but very shallow thinking."

Source: Toronto Star

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Comment by Recruiting Animal on July 15, 2008 at 10:41am
STEVE: What are you saying? That it's the typewriter or constant distraction? I see that multi-tasking has already taken its toll on your use of logic.

MAREN: Hey, smiley face, what's your point?

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