The Distribution Of Attentional Resources

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The divided attention effect is defined as a person doing multiple tasks at once. The completion of multiple task simultaneously will almost always lead to a decrease in performance ability seen in one or more of the tasks at hand. This has been found to be associated with the cognitive process of recall. When multitasking, recall ability will decrease, especially if the new task introduced is more difficult than the first (Fisher, Greenberg, Johnston, & Martin, 1970). The distribution of attentional resources has been modeled in two forms. The first involving the idea that there is a single pool of resources, which can be divided freely. The second model suggests that there are multiple pools of specific modality resources (Sternberg &…show more content…
For example, two visual tasks such as reading while watching television, is more difficult to complete than pairing a visual task with an auditory task, such as listening to music while reading (Sternberg & Sternberg, 2012). A common cause for interference today is cell phone usage. Cell phones create both vocal and manual responses. For example, attempting to text or talk on the phone at the same time as physically interacting with the surrounding environment will decrease the ability to concentrate on either the cell phone conversation or any task being completed in the current environment (Iudice et al, 2005). A study done to assess the level of distraction caused by cell phone usage was done on 54 undergraduate students. The students were split into two groups, an experimental group and a control group. The experimental group had a cell phone placed in front of them on the desk. The control group had a small notebook, the size of a cell phone, in front of them. Each group had to perform digit cancellation tasks, which were simple and easy to complete. Each group also had to perform more challenging, additive cancellation tasks. The findings concluded that there was no relationship between the presence of the phone during the digit cancellation tasks. During the more challenging tasks the students in the experimental group performed more poorly compared to those in
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