MASTERS OF MULTI-TASKING? - The Generation Z research
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MASTERS OF MULTI-TASKING?

MASTERS OF MULTI-TASKING?

Gen Z claim to be masters of parallel processing and multi-tasking. It’s not true! Numerous studies performed in laboratory settings proved that people exhibit inferior performance on diverse tasks when they try to manage multiple media sources such as going from texting a friend, to reading a book, to watching an online video at the same time. Nevertheless, multitasking often gave people an emotional boost, even when it hurts their cognitive functions, such as writing. That is why Gen Z tend to be misperceiving the positive feelings they get from multitasking. They are not more productive – they just feel more emotionally satisfied from their work. And those positive emotions is what our limbic brain is looking for to keep us happy and sane.

That is also why Gen Z function best when connected. The quest for instant gratification and constant rewards and preference to playing games rather than doing the work the old fashioned way.

What lecturers try to do to cope with the “Neocortex block” and win their attention is to switch between their tasks to keep them amused and motivated.
It looks more or less like this:

“Hey look a zebra – and it is talking to a dinosaur – Oh, and now I see you are getting bored, so let’s just throw in some confetti.”

This kind of adaptive schema might work relatively well short term but is not sustainable. Employers will have neither time nor resources to do that. Not talking about the fact that this kind of stimuli would quickly wear out and we would need more and more zebras, dinosaurs and confetti to reproduce the same traction.

Alexandra
alexandrabronn@yahoo.com