Tuesday, January 03, 2012

You Can't Multitask, But You Can Divide Your Attention

One thing I've noticed as I simultaneously entered the world of smart phones and texting is the impossibility of multitasking. Something else I've noticed is the possibility of dividing your attention. There is a difference. Multitasking implies the ability to do more than one thing at a time as well as you would do it by itself. This has been shown to be not possible. When ever you do a task, your brain puts a certain percentage of it's effort towards it. For example, let's say normal driving requires 75% of your brain and texting requires 50%. That means when you do both, you are really doing neither very well. Oprah agrees.

However, I believe it is possible to divide your attention. That is, to do two tasks that require very little percentage of your brain. For example bad TV, which I estimate to require about 35% of your attention, and playing Pocket Tanks on my iPhone, which requires about 25%. I can easily do both of these tasks, even counting for the deadweight loss percentage probably required to switch between the two. So be careful not to overload your brain, but also because not to waste those valuable percentage points.

1 comment:

  1. Forget human ,even computer cannot multitask. It does one task at a time but it switches so fast between the task that it looks as if multitasking .


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