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The people who multitask the most are the ones who are worst at it. That's the surprising conclusion of researchers at Stanford University, who found multitaskers are more easily distracted and less able to ignore irrelevant information than people who do less multitasking. "The huge finding is, the more media people use, the worse they are at using any media. We were totally shocked," Clifford Nass, a professor at Stanford's communications department, said in a telephone interview.
This tests shows that some people, who were somewhat arbitrarily categorized as multitaskers, weren't any better at odd tests involving shapes and colors and letters than others not categorized as such.
The purpose of multitasking is to get things done. The ability to listen in on a conference call and draft a paper simultaneously, for example, can save time for someone able to do both. The simple and random tests in the study in no way capture the subjects' ability to get things done in real life. A headline for this study purporting any sort of conclusion at all is completely undeserved.