Multitasking called bad study strategy

Sept. 20, 2010 at 6:39 PM
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BLOOMINGTON, Ind., Sept. 20 (UPI) -- Students who "multitask" in class or while studying -- texting, typing, studying all at once -- aren't being as efficient as they think, U.S. researchers say.

Studies at Indiana University found that multitasking -- juggling cellphones, e-mail, texting, the Internet -- handicaps learning and steals a little bit from each task being performed, a university release said Monday.

"Why is multitasking, texting a problem? It has an impact on students' ability to understand and absorb, code, store and process information -- and learn," David Pisoni, IU professor of psychology, said.

"Memory and attention are limited. Students don't realize that when they study and engage in other activities, that multitasking comes at a price."

Pisoni, who teaches a course in human memory, says he wants students to understand the workings and limits of memory and the brain's limited ability to process information so they can apply what they've learned to how they learn.

Cramming, memorizing and rote learning is not the way to go, he says.

"Elaboration and understanding is what you want," Pisoni said. "You can't do this if you have other activities going on simultaneously that are competing for resources."

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