TV, computer multitasking distracting

May 2, 2011 at 3:07 PM
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BOSTON, May 2 (UPI) -- Teens may argue they can focus on homework with the TV on, but U.S. researchers confirm what parents have long suspected, multitasking is distracting.

Professors S. Adam Brasel and James Gips of Boston College say study participants told researchers they only looked at the computer during TV commercials, or that they thought they were watching TV while Web pages were loaded.

However, the study finds people on average switched their eyes back and forth between TV and computer 120 times in 27.5 minutes -- or nearly once every 14 seconds.

"We thought it was going to be high, but the frequency of switching and amount of distraction going on was really shocking," Brasel says in a statement.

Even if quick "glances" less than 1.5 seconds are removed from the equation, people switched more than 70 times per half hour, the study says.

Prior research shows 59 percent of Americans say they use their computer and television at the same time, the researchers say.

The study, published in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking, finds on average

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