Monday, March 26, 2012

"Multi-tasking"/Task Switching tests

I discovered two "multi-tasking" tests via Twitter recently and they both look like they might be useful during the Cognition or Sensation and Perception chapters (whenever you discuss selective attention, etc.)

  • The Dual Task website created by Hal Pashler has several very effective tests for "multi task performance." The one I tried is the "Visible PRP Effect" When you click on that link, you may have to wait a bit for an "applet" to load, but after that the test ran smoothly, and it is a very effective demonstration of how trying to attend to more than one "channel" impairs performance. 
  • Sue Frantz tweeted a test from the Scientific American website: "Test Your Multitasking Skills" This demonstration is more complicated, with graphics and more complex instructions, but the scenario it uses is engaging and effective. 
These demonstrations could be extended into conversations about the "multi-tasking" many of us commonly engage in, and the specific topic near and dear to many of our students hearts: talking on the phone while driving. 

posted by Rob McEntarffer


Steve Jones said...

There's also this one from the NY Times - a game that lets you simulate texting while driving. I am terrible at this one (and it nicely reminds me not to ever try texting and driving!).

Rob McEntarffer said...

Cool! Thanks Steve. I think I heard about that one a while back but I forgot about it. Thanks!