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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Effects of Mood as a Mediator of Media Multitasking on Cognitive Performance

  • Author(s): Zamanzadeh, Nicole Neda
  • Advisor(s): Linz, Daniel
  • et al.

The current study investigated the indirect effect of media multitasking on cognitive performance during subsequent single tasking, mediated through mood. A post-test between-subjects experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of two types of media multitasking, with nonsocial media tasks and with social media tasks, on mood (i.e., valence and arousal), attention filtering (i.e., ability to selectively pay attention to some information), and behavioral inhibition (i.e., ability to control behavior) as compared to single tasking. The results demonstrate that media multitasking with both nonsocial and social tasks decrease pleasant mood valence but increase arousal. Additionally, there is evidence that nonsocial media multitasking may improve behavioral inhibition (i.e., decrease impulsivity) by increasing arousal. The results highlight the potential variation in media multitasking’s task demand depending on the combinations of tasks involved. Further research is necessary to explore the possible benefits of varying task demands for mood and cognitive performance.

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