Tuesday, May 5, 2009
The Science of Concentration
One of the high-frequency words I have a hard time with is 'multitaksing.' I simply don't buy the core meaning of this word. People cannot do different things at the same time. What they can do, which might give the impression of doing different things simultaneously, is create a hierarchy of importance/relevance and abide by it.
I do think that multitasking is a myth. Which is also the point of the below-quoted article. The premise of the study is informed by William James' quote, "“My experience is what I agree to attend to.”"
A bit says:
"“Multitasking is a myth,” Ms. Gallagher said. “You cannot do two things at once. The mechanism of attention is selection: it’s either this or it’s that.” She points to calculations that the typical person’s brain can process 173 billion bits of information over the course of a lifetime.
“People don’t understand that attention is a finite resource, like money,” she said. “Do you want to invest your cognitive cash on endless Twittering or Net surfing or couch potatoing? You’re constantly making choices, and your choices determine your experience, just as William James said.”
Read more here.