Multitasking behavior and its related constructs: Executive functions, working memory capacity, relational integration, and divided attention.

08:00 EDT 17th May 2019 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Multitasking behavior and its related constructs: Executive functions, working memory capacity, relational integration, and divided attention."

Although prior investigations have revealed cognitive abilities to be important predictors of multitasking behavior, few investigations have been conducted on the relation between executive functions (EFs) and multitasking behavior. The current study examines the underlying cognitive constructs associated with the concept of multitasking behavior. A sample of 202 young adults completed a battery of EFs (shifting, updating, and inhibition), three working memory capacity (WMC) tests, three relational integration tests, two divided attention tests, and a multitasking scenario (Simultaneous Capacity). First, in direct replication attempts, the results replicated the multitasking behavior model (Bühner, König, Pick, & Krumm, 2006) and partially replicated the three-factor and nested factors EFs models (Friedman et al., 2016). Second, hierarchical multiple regression analyses and relative weight analyses revealed that updating, inhibition, relational integration, and divided attention had strong contributions in explaining multitasking behavior variance, whereas shifting and WMC did not show any explanatory power beyond these constructs. Finally, using structural equation modeling, we found that the general EF ability (common EF) representing variance common to shifting, updating, and inhibition highly overlapped with multitasking behavior. Our results are of value not only to shed light on the relevant cognitive correlates of multitasking behavior but also to position multitasking behavior in an established framework of cognitive abilities.


Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Cognition
ISSN: 1873-7838
Pages: 275-298


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