MULTITASKING – WHO’S THE BETTER GENDER?
Multitasking is something that we all do throughout our lives. This could be as simple as answering the phone while we’re cooking. Children do it when they listen to music while doing homework, talking on the phone and talking via MSN messenger or Myspace. Housewives do it at home as they watch the soaps on television, do the laundry, clean the kitchen and arrange the evening’s meal. We do it at work when we prepare a report, while answering emails, fielding phone calls and dividing our attention among myriad other tasks that arise during the day.
What is multitasking and is it *effective*?
Initially multi-tasking was the performance of two or more programs simultaneously by a computer operating system. Today the term has been personified to mean the performance of two or more tasks donesimultaneously by humans. Because of our attempts at multitasking it is believed that the human being has the ability to carry out several activities at once, all of them with equal efficiency. However, science has proven otherwise. Many scientists agree that the brain can only given 100% attention to one task at a time.
According to neuroscientist Jordan Grafman, when multitasking “you’re doing more than one thing, but you’re ordering them and deciding which one to do at any one time”. Another school of thought suggests that one can perform automatic tasks while doing or thinking about other things. Also it is believed that ‘acts of perception” can be performed with action planning and with movement. However complex activities that require full concentration should not be multitasked. Consider the ramifications of driving down the highway while talking on a mobile phone.
Grafman explains that there is a region behind the forehead called the Brodman’s Area 10 in the brain’s anterior prefrontal cortex that is responsible for a person’s ability to switch between various...