Measuring Multitasking Performance in the Face of Interruptions: Experimental Approach

Abstract

This case is devoted to multitasking (performing two or more simultaneous tasks) in the face of task-irrelevant interruptions. I first briefly present how multitasking performance is typically measured in an experimental setting and introduce dual-tasking and task-switching paradigms. Next, I present how handling interruptions is measured in laboratory experiments. Finally, I present two experimental methods that combine both multitasking and dealing with interruptions. I focus on task-irrelevant interruptions, which are differentiated from task-relevant interruptions. I also show that ignoring interruptions might lead to better multitasking performance, especially when task-irrelevant interruptions are involved. Possible method modifications for future studies are discussed.

locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles