Question 5

Considering what you know about adolescent cognitive abilities and how these are measured, examine the influence of the the digital or wired age on adolescent learning, concentration, and multi-taking.

What are your thoughts about adolescents’ ability to multi-task? Is the modern world of potential 24-7 cognitive stimulation giving rise to human 2.0, such that this generation will be wired to process information much better than previous cohorts, or is all of this cognitive stimulation and distraction producing a generation who is less able to consider the true depth of complicated issues? What other concerns or issues must be considered when examining the influence of technology on adolescent [[#|cognition]]?

Consider relevant recent research and frame your response in the language of the course materials.


I. MATERIAL FROM TEXTBOOK (Organized By Chapter)

  1. Chapter 1
    1. Ecological Systems Approach: As adolescents go through fundamental changes in their biological, cognitive, and self-systems, each of these sets of changes act on, and is acted on, by the others. (p. 4)
      1. Social contexts: parents and family, peers, school, community, and the larger culture
      2. Positive development: how can parents, teachers, and community leaders help adolescents become confident, productive, caring, and engaged participants in life of their family, school, neighbrhood, and society?
    2. Learning Strategies (p. 6)
      1. Active learning: Interacting with new information in some way
      2. Deep processing: Associating new information with material in memory
        1. When we think about material in more meaningful ways and [[#|associate]] it with information that is already stored in our memory, we remember it better. And the more deeply new material is processed, the more likely it is to be recalled later.
    3. Developmental Phases and Tasks (p. 9)
      1. Early Adolescence (11-14): Adapting to body and mind changes and the new social roles they bring, as well as accepting and learning to use one's new physique
      2. Middle Adolescence(15-18): Achieving psychological independence from aprents, developing the ability to have close friendships, and working toward meaningful intimate, possibly sexual, relationships.
      3. Late Adolescence (19 to 22): Preparing for marriage and family life, considering an economic career, and acquiring a mature set of values.
    4. A Shrinking Globe (p. 18)
      1. Globalizationincludes: international trade, speedier [[#|travel]]and communications, economic interdependence, and mass migration.
        1. Factors that globalization affects adolescents in particular
          1. Adolescents still in the process of finding a place for themselves in the world. Less locked into traditional ways of doing things and more open to new ideas and possibilities.
          2. The flip side of that is the fact that adolescents have not yet settled into an occupation and way of life, which may make them more vulnerable to the impact of social and economic change.
    5. Where is adolescence going? (p. 20)
      1. In response to changes in the [[#|economy]], technology, and society as a whole, teens began to stay in school longer.
      2. To make progress in the global economy, a society has to have an educated population.
      3. Its workers have to be at home with the complexities of modern technology and need to be able to adapt to whatever complexities tomorrow's technology may bring.
2. Chapter 2

- Evolutionary Psychology- An approach that tries to understand how current characteristics and behaviors may have been influenced by evolutionary forces.
- genes are passed on from the parent to the offspring which can lead to characteristics which are wide spread in that population (McMahan, 2009)
-Information Processing- The ways information enters the person's cognitive systems, gets processed, and is stored for future use (McMahan, 2009)
- Metacognition- The ability to be aware of one's own thinking processes and to develop more effective ways of using them (McMahan, 2009)

3. Chapter 3 Development of the Adolescent Brain

1. Synaptic Pruning: elimination of less used brain circuits
1. Amount of Gray-matter decreases during adolescence (Durston et. al., 2001)
2. Neurons lose up to half of their synapses during puberty and adolescence
2. Myelination: spread of insulation myelin
1. causes neurons to fire faster
2. causes neuron firing to become more precise/prevents electrical impulse from leaving neuron (Bjorklund, 2000)

3. Chapter 4
Information Processing: The mind processes information, codes it, decodes, it compares it, combines it was other information, etc. and we usually refer to this as thinking. Our system's capacity is limited which may be one of the issues during multi-tasking.
  1. Attention
    1. Selective attention: How well we can focus on one task while excluding all others
    2. Divided Attention: Ability to attend to more than one thing at a time
      1. Improves from childhood to adolescence.
      2. However, recent research has found that the total amount of available attention does not increase from childhood to early adolescence.
  2. Processing speed: Adolescents do better than children at the amount of information they can keep active as well as the speed in which they process it.
  3. Working Memory: has two jobs, short-term memory,to keep a limited amount of information actively in awareness; at the same time process that or other information
  4. Fluid Intelligence:same as reasoning ability
  5. Developmental Cascade: faster processing speed creates a cascade that leads to improved fluid intelligence
Competence- Performance Gap - the fact that people do not consistently do as well at some tasks as they are capable of doing
Flynn Effect - The trend for average test scores on standardized intelligence tests to increase steadily over time.
  • There have been several explanations provided for why this occurs, one such explanation is a wider use of interactive video games

Self-Regulated Learning in the Classroom (McMahan, 2009, p. 131)
  • Motivation and emotion are key to the perspective of self-regulating learning
  • Paris & Paris (2001)
    • o Fusing cognition, motivation and emotion leads to an effective, self-sustaining learner
    • oPrinciples for Teachers to promote self-regulating
      • § Examine personal learning styles and strategies
      • § Evaluating what you know and what you don’t know
      • § Regular self-assessment
      • § Self-management of thinking, effort, and feelings
      • § Managing time and resources
  • o3 ways for students to develop self-regulated learning skills
    • § Repeated experiences
    • § Direct instruction
    • § Engage in self-regulatory tasks

Chapter 7
Performance and Mastery (McMahan, 2009, p. 217-218)
  • Performance
    • Focus on successes
    • Interpret outcomes based on ability level
    • Students have lower educational values, self-esteem and achievement
    • Examples: class ranking, valedictorian
    • Mastery
      • Focus on mastering tasks and personal improvement
      • Students learn more and develop more interest in subject
      • Improves self efficacy
      • Example: cooperative learning, rewards for academic effort and improvement

4. Chapter 8
How much Time do teens spend on Media? (P. 274)
-7 hours/ day for 8-10 year old
-8 hours/day at 12-13
-7 hours/day for 15-18

Television dominates children’s media exposure until age 13-14( p. 274)
-2/3 of US teens have a TV in their bedroom
-Having a TV on does not necessarily mean watching attentively


Video Gam
Passenger and Cell Phone Conversations in Simulated Driving
Frank A. Drews, Monisha Pasupathi, and David L. Strayer
University of Utah
This study examines how conversing with passengers in a vehicle differs from conversing on a cell phone
while driving. We compared how well drivers were able to deal with the demands of driving when
conversing on a cell phone, conversing with a passenger, and when driving without any distraction. In
the conversation conditions, participants were instructed to converse with a friend about past experiences
in which their life was threatened. The results show that the number of driving errors was highest in the
cell phone condition; in passenger conversations more references were made to traffic, and the production
rate of the driver and the complexity of speech of both interlocutors dropped in response to an increase
in the demand of the traffic. The results indicate that passenger conversations differ from cell phone
conversations because the surrounding traffic not only becomes a topic of the conversation, helping
driver and passenger to share situation awareness, but the driving condition also has a direct influence
on the complexity of the conversation, thereby mitigating the potential negative effects of a conversation
on driving.
Keywords: shared attention, driver distraction, cell phone conversation, passenger conversation
Summary- Indicates that distraction by cell phones is not-relational therefore more of a distraction
Drews, F. A., Pasupathi, M., & Strayer, D. L. (2008). Passenger and cell phone conversations in simulated driving. Journal Of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 14(4), 392-400. doi:10.1037/a0013119

Playing, Attention Problems, and Impulsiveness:

Evidence of Bidirectional Causality

Gentile, D. A., Swing, E. L., Lim, C., & Khoo, A. (2012). Video game playing, attention problems, and impulsiveness: Evidence of bidirectional causality. Psychology Of Popular Media Culture, 1(1), 62-70. doi:10.1037/a0026969
The present [[#|study]] examines video game playing as it relates to attention problems and
impulsiveness in a sample of 3,034 children and adolescents from Singapore measured
over 3 years. Consistent with previous research, those who spend more time playing
video games subsequently have more attention problems, even when earlier attention
problems, sex, age, race, and socioeconomic status are statistically controlled. Violent
content may have a unique effect on attention problems and impulsiveness, but total
time spent with video games appears to be a more consistent predictor. Individuals who
are more impulsive or have more attention problems subsequently spend more time
playing video games, even when initial video game playing is statistically controlled,
suggesting bidirectional causality between video game playing and attention problems/

Keywords: video games, attention problems, impulsiveness, media effects, bidirectionality

Problems associated with attention disorders,
such as [[#|attention deficit]] hyperactivity disorder
(ADHD), impair a variety of functions, particularly
school performance (Barry, Lyman, &
Klinger, 2002). Attention disorders are substantially
biologically based, but have environmental
risk factors as well (Biederman et al., 2008).
Some recent evidence suggests that exposure to
screen media may increase attention problems
(e.g., Christakis, Zimmerman, DiGiuseppe, &
McCarty, 2004; Landhuis, Poulton, Welch,
& Hancox, 2007; Swing, Gentile, Anderson, &
Walsh, 2010). Most of the research to date has
focused on television (TV) as a potential contributor
to attention problems (e.g., Acevedo–
Polakovich, Lorch,

Media use, face-to-face communication, media multitasking, and social well-being among 8-to 12-year-old girls.
Pea, R., Nass, C., Meheula, L., Rance, M., Kumar, A., Bamford, H., & ... Zhou, M. (2012). Media use, face-to-face communication, media multitasking, and social well-being among 8- to 12-year-old girls. Developmental Psychology, 48(2), 327-336. doi:10.1037/a0027030

Abstract:An online [[#|survey]] of 3,461 North American girls ages 8–12 conducted in the summer of 2010 through Discovery Girls magazine examined the relationships between social well-being and young girls' mediause—including video, video games, music listening, reading/homework, e-mailing/posting on socialmedia sites, texting/instant messaging, and talking on phones/video chatting—and face-to-facecommunication. This study introduced both a more granular measure of mediamultitasking and a new comparative measure of mediause versus time spent in face-to-facecommunication. Regression analyses indicated that negative social well-being was positively associated with levels of uses of media that are centrally about interpersonal interaction (e.g., phone, online communication) as well as uses of media that are not (e.g., video, music, and reading). Video use was particularly strongly associated with negative social well-being indicators. Mediamultitasking was also associated with negative social indicators. Conversely, face-to-facecommunication was strongly associated with positive social well-being. Cell phone ownership and having a television or computer in one's room had little direct association with children's socioemotional well-being. We hypothesize possible causes for these relationships, call for research designs to address causality, and outline possible implications of such findings for the social well-being of younger adolescents. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved) (ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR)

Summary: This [[#|study]] reveals that certain types of media use were consistently associated with a range of negatively socioemotional outcomes. Face to face communication resulted in positive outcomes. The use of media multitasking led young adolescent girls feeling like they are not socially successful; they sleep less, and their friend’s parents see them as a bad influence. This goes to show that some parents whom believe that their children’s friends are too involved with media, whether it be computers, televisions, cell phones, or video games, think they have a negative influence on their child. Adolescent’s engagement in media usage is shaping their social relationships and social well-being.

Media and Attention, Cognition, and School Achievement
Schmidt, M., & Vandewater, E. A. (2008). Media and Attention, Cognition, and School Achievement. Future Of Children, 18(1), 63-85.
Abstract: Marie Evans Schmidt and Elizabeth Vandewater review research on links between various types of electronic media and the cognitive skills of school-aged children and adolescents. One central finding of studies to date, they say, is that the content delivered by electronic media is far more influential than the media themselves.
Most studies, they point out, find a small negative link between the total hours a child spends viewing TV and that child’s academic achievement. But when researchers take into account characteristics of the child, such as IQ or socioeconomic status, this link typically disappears. Content appears to be crucial. Viewing educational TV is linked positively with academic achievement; viewing entertainment TV is linked negatively with achievement.
When it comes to particular cognitive skills, say the authors, researchers have found that elec- tronic media, particularly video games, can enhance visual spatial skills, such as visual tracking, mental rotation, and target localization. Gaming may also improve problem-solving skills.
Researchers have yet to understand fully the issue of transfer of learning from electronic media. Studies suggest that, under some circumstances, young people are able to transfer what they learn from electronic media to other applications, but analysts are uncertain how such transfer occurs.
In response to growing public concern about possible links between electronic media use and attention problems in children and adolescents, say the authors, researchers have found evidence for small positive links between heavy electronic media use and mild attention problems among young people but have found only inconsistent evidence so far for a link between attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and media use.
The authors point out that although video games, interactive websites, and multimedia software programs appear to offer a variety of possible benefits for learning, there is as yet little empirical evidence to suggest that such media are more effective than other forms of instruction.
Summary: This article presents the idea that some forms of electronic media may enhance certain cognitive skills. That being said, they also admit that further research is needed to support this claim. The article also makes note of the link between electronic media use and mild attention problems.
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Predictors of Multitasking with Media: Media Factors and Audience Factors

Jeong, S., & Fishbein, M. (2007). Predictors of multitasking with media: Media factors and audience factors. Media Psychology, 10(3), 364-384. doi:10.1080/15213260701532948

In this research, multitasking with media is defined as an audience behavior that combines media use with another non-media activity. This study examines (a) the prevalence and patterns of multitasking among 14- to 16-year-olds and (b) the media and audience factors that predict such behavior. Consistent with previous research, this study found that youth frequently multitask with media. Both (a) ownership of media in bedrooms as a media factor and (h) sensation seeking as an audience factor were found to be significant predictors of multitasking with media. The theoretical and practical implications of the study are further discussed.(PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

This study examined the variation and frequence of adolescences' multitasking. It identified where adolescents most often performed multitasking as well as why adolescents partake in mulitasking. Additionally, it discusses what socio-demographic characterists lead to multitasking and the implications for media effects.

Trends in Media Use

Roberts, D. F., & Foehr, U. G. (2008). Trends in Media Use. Future of Children, 18(1), 11-37.

American youth are awash in media. They have television sets in their bedrooms, personal computers in their family rooms, and digital music players and cell phones in their backpacks. They spend more time with media than any single activity other than sleeping, with the average American eight- to eighteen-year-old reporting more than six hours of daily media use. The growing phenomenon of "media multitasking"--using several media concurrently--multiplies that figure to eight and a half hours of media exposure daily. Donald Roberts and Ulla Foehr examine how both media use and media exposure vary with demographic factors such as age, race and ethnicity, and household socioeconomic status, and with psychosocial variables such as academic performance and personal adjustment. They note that media exposure begins early, increases until children begin school, drops off briefly, then climbs again to peak at almost eight hours daily among eleven- and twelve-year-olds. Television and video exposure is particularly high among African American youth. Media exposure is negatively related to indicators of socioeconomic status, but that relationship may be diminishing. Media exposure is positively related to risk-taking behaviors and is negatively related to personal adjustment and school performance. Roberts and Foehr also review evidence pointing to the existence of a digital divide--variations in access to personal computers and allied technologies by socioeconomic status and by race and ethnicity. The authors also examine how the recent emergence of digital media such as personal computers, video game consoles, and portable music players, as well as the media multitasking phenomenon they facilitate, has increased young people's exposure to media messages while leaving media use time largely unchanged. Newer media, they point out, are not displacing older media but are being used in concert with them. The authors note which young people are more or less likely to use several media concurrently and which media are more or less likely to be paired with various other media. They argue that one implication of such media multitasking is the need to reconceptualize "media exposure." (Contains 4 tables, 4 figures and 50 endnotes.)


This article explores the digital media phenomenon with relationship to adolescences. It discusses what type situations teenagers are most likely to be in to partake in multitasking. Additionally, the authors talk about what type of media is out there that is most likely to lead to multitasking.

Media Multitasking Among American Youth: Prevalence, Predictors and Pairing

Foehr, U. & Henry J. Kaiser Family, F. (2006). Media Multitasking among American Youth: Prevalence, Predictors and Pairings. Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Retrieved from


In the past, multitasking was a juggling act performed by busy adults, as they tried to manage jobs, chores, carpools, and PTA meetings. But recently, teens and tweens have turned into the real experts at multitasking, as their lives become chock-full of organized activities. For them, multitasking has simply become a way of life: "If I couldn't multitask, I couldn't do what I do... I'd have to cut a sport, or cut a class" says one high school junior (Hafner, 2001). With the exception of anecdotal evidence and a few surveys, researchers have little information about the extent and nature of adolescent media multitasking. The questions the researchers are investigating are new: questions such as "How prevalent is media multitasking?" "Who is mediamultitasking?" "Is media multitasking behavior related to other media behaviors or personal characteristics?", and "Which activities are most often multitasked?" Two major findings emerge from this research regarding the pairing of media. First, it is evident that when watching TV, a young person is not usually media multitasking(indeed, is less likely to be multitasking than when using any other medium), but when a young person is media multitasking there is likely television involved. Second, computer activities are the most multitasked activities in this study and, unlike the situation with television, music or reading, most of computer time devoted to secondary activities is overwhelmingly media-based. This research also suggests that some young people are more likely to media multitask than others. Certainly more research is needed to understand the nuances of likelihood to media multitask, but the current findings can guide individuals in their search for more detailed answers. Young people who are exposed to the most media, those who have a computer and can see a television from it, those who are sensation seekers, those who live in highly TV-oriented households, and girls (more than boys) are all more likely to media multitask.These characteristics seem to point to two factors that may drive media multitasking:a need, or a motivation, to media multitask (to fit in everything they want to do), and the opportunity to media multitask. Methodology is appended. (Contains 9 tables, 6 figures and 18 endnotes.)
Summary: Dr. Ulla Foehr (2006) wrote a brilliant research paper,Media Multitasking among American Youth: Prevalence, Predictors and Pairing, that looks at the different factors that contribute to the growing epidemic of media multitasking. Through the article Foehr (2006) stated that performance decreases when the brain becomes involved in simultaneous activities. Foehr (2006) conducted a correlative, cross-sectional study consisting of surveys, questionnaires and diaries of 80,000 public, private, and parochial schools. The overall net resulted in 2032 3rd-12thgrades who completed the questionnaires and 694 who completed a seven-day dairy. Although the sample design permitted oversampling of different grade levels, race/ethnicity, genders, etc., the only oversampling that occurred was only in the area of ethnicity: Black and Hispanic adolescents.

The Problem State: A Cognitive Bottleneck in Multitasking

Borst, J. P., Taatgen, N. A., & van Rijn, H. (2010). The Problem State: A Cognitive Bottleneck in Multitasking. Journal Of Experimental

Abstract: The main challenge for theories of multitasking is to predict when and how tasks interfere. Here, we focus on interference related to the problem state, a directly accessible intermediate representation of the current state of a task. On the basis of Salvucci and Taatgen's (2008) threaded cognition theory, we predict interference if 2 or more tasks require a problem state but not when only one task requires one. This prediction was tested in a series of 3 experiments. In Experiment 1, a subtraction task and a text entry task had to be carried out concurrently. Both tasks were presented in 2 versions: one that required maintaining a problem state and one that did not. A significant over additive interaction effect was observed, showing that the interference between tasks was maximal when both tasks required a problem state. The other 2 experiments tested whether the interference was indeed due to a problem state bottleneck, instead of cognitive load (Experiment 2: an alternative subtraction and text entry experiment) or a phonological loop bottleneck (Experiment 3: a triple-task experiment that added phonological processing). Both experiments supported the problem state hypothesis. To account for the observed behavior, computational cognitive models were developed using threaded cognition within the context of the cognitive architecture ACT-R (Anderson, 2007). The models confirm that a problem state bottleneck can explain the observed interference.

Summary: This study examines the effectivness of multitasking. In this study, participants were given different problem states, tasks that involved using working memory, and tested reaction times and accuracy. As the number of problem states increased, reaction times and accuracy went down. This study showcases true cognitive abilities and sheds good light on adolescents ability to multitask.

Researching Cognition and Technology: How We Learn across the Lifespan

Petrina, S., Feng, F., & Kim, J. (2008). Researching Cognition and Technology: How We Learn across the Lifespan. International Journal Of Technology And Design Education, 18(4), 375-396.

Abstract: This article addresses how we learn technology across the lifespan. After outlining findings of research into how children, adolescents, teens and adults learn technology, we address theoretical shifts from sociocultural to technocultural theories of cognition and reorientation from mediated to cyborgenic learning. The balance of the article describes effective methods for researching cognition and technology. In the process of outlining key findings from research, we emphasize the links among methods and theories employed, data produced and conclusions drawn. Our goal is to sketch a lifelong learning context for undertaking studies of [[#|cognition]] and technology, and to provide a methodological and theoretical analysis for researchers venturing into this dynamic and volatile field. In summary, we provide a far-ranging agenda for researching [[#|cognition]] and technology.

Summary: This study is a good source for looking at issues and concerns in regards to cognition and technology. This article stresses the importance of technology and cognitive abilities and how the two are intertwined. One general conclusion of this article is that technology continues to aid and improve the way we as humans learn. Technology is instrumental in learning more than integral, but the benefits are exponential.

Cognitive Control in Media Multitaskers
Ophir, E., Nass, C., & Wagner, A. D. (2009). Cognitive control in media multitaskers. National Academy of Sciences, 106(37), 15583-15587.
Abstract: Chronic media multitasking is quickly becoming ubiquitous, although processing multiple incoming streams of information is considered a challenge for human cognition. A series of experiments addressed whether there are systematic differences in information processing styles between chronically heavy and light media multitaskers. A trait media multitasking index was developed to identify groups of heavy and light media multitaskers. These two groups were then compared along established cognitive control dimensions. Results showed that heavy media multitaskers are more susceptible to interference from irrelevant environmental stimuli and from irrelevant representations in memory. This led to the surprising result that heavy media multitaskers performed worse on a test of task-switching ability, likely due to reduced ability to filter out interference from the irrelevant task set. These results demonstrate that media multitasking, a rapidly growing societal trend, is associated with a distinct approach to fundamental information processing.
Summary: This study compares heavy media multitaskers and light media multitaskers and found that heavy media multitaskers are more distracted by irrelevant stimuli and less efficient at switching tasks than light media multitaskers.

Cell Phone Use and Child and Adolescent Reading Proficiency
Hofferth, S. L., Moon, U, J. (2012). Cell phone use and child and adolescent reading proficiency. Psychology of Popular Media culture, 1(2), 108-122.

Abstract:This study examined the association between cell phone use, including minutes spent talking and number of text messages sent, and 2 measures of children's reading proficiency—tests of word decoding and reading comprehension—in the United States. Data were drawn from the Child Development Supplement to the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, a nationally representative survey of 1,147 children 10–18 in 2008. Children whose parents were better educated, who had higher family incomes, who had fewer siblings, and who lived in urban areas were more likely to own or share a cell phone. Among those with access to a phone, children who spent more time talking on the phone were less proficient at word decoding, whereas children who spent more time sending text messages had greater reading comprehension. Although girls spent more time texting than boys, there were no gender differences in the association between time spent talking or number of text messages sent with achievement. In spite of racial/ethnic differences in cell phone use levels, there were no racial/ethnic differences in the association between cell phone use and reading proficiency.

Summary: The study measured cell phone usage and its correlation with reading proficiency. The researchers controlled for gender, age, race, poverty, amount of people in the household, and education of the mother. They used a sample of 727 children who reported cell phone usage in the last month and calculated their number of text messages and hours of phone minutes used. The dependent variable, reading proficiency, was measured from two subtests from the Woodcock-Johnson II Revised test (WJ-II Revised). The results indicated that more texting message was related to higher reading comprehension, and that voice communication was linked to lower scores on letter/word decoding. These results suggest that technology can expose adolescents to the English language in a social, fun manner which improves their literacy skills. This article supports the viewpoint that technology is helping and aiding the learning process in adolescents.

Effect of Music on Reading Comprehension of Junior High School Students

Anderson, S. A., & Fuller, G. B. (2010). Effect of music on reading comprehension of junior high school students. School Psychology Quarterly, 25(3), 178-187.

Abstract: This quantitative study was an investigation of the effect of lyrical music on reading comprehension by adolescents. Existing research has produced results that range from concluding such distraction may be detrimental to finding it could be helpful. The reading comprehension subtest of the Gates-MacGinitie Reading Tests, 4th edition (MacGinitie, MacGinitie, Maria, & Dryer, 2000) was administered to 334 7th- and 8th-grade students. Testing was conducted under two conditions: a nonmusic environment, and with accompanying music comprising Billboard Magazine’s (2006) top hit singles. Following the music portion of the test, students completed a survey to assess any preference for or against listening to music while studying. Results of an analysis of variance showed performance declined significantly when listening to music. A point biserial correlation illustrated a pronounced detrimental effect on comprehension for students exhibiting a stronger preference for listening to music while studying. Results are important for understanding influences on study habits, with the goal of helping educators and school psychologists design support systems tailored to the needs of adolescents.

Summary: The study show studying while listening to music lowers reading and studying comprehension. Popular music genres were used throughout the study. The students in the study were unaware as to how much they were affected by the music, during the studying time. Students who preferred studying with music did more poorly than those who did not or who chose different music to listen to.

Friending, IMing, and Hanging Out Face-to-Face: Overlap in Adolescents’ Online and Offline Social Networks
Reich, S. M., Subrahmanyam, K., & Espinoza, G. (2012). Friending, IMing, and hanging out face-to-face: Overlap in adolescents' online and offline social networks. Developmental Psychology, 48(2), 356-368.
Abstract: Many new and important developmental issues are encountered during adolescence, which is also a time when Internet use becomes increasingly popular. Studies have shown that adolescents are using these online spaces to address developmental issues, especially needs for intimacy and connection to others. Online communication with its potential for interacting with unknown others, may put teens at increased risk. Two hundred and fifty-one high school students completed an in-person survey, and 126 of these completed an additional online questionnaire about how and why they use the Internet, their activities on social networking sites (e.g., Facebook, MySpace) and their reasons for participation, and how they perceive these online spaces to impact their friendships. To examine the extent of overlap between online and offline friends, participants were asked to list the names of their top interaction partners offline and online (Facebook and instant messaging). Results reveal that adolescents mainly use social networking sites to connect with others, in particular with people known from offline contexts. While adolescents report little monitoring by their parents, there was no evidence that teens are putting themselves at risk by interacting with unknown others. Instead, adolescents seem to use the Internet, especially social networking sites, to connect with known others. While the study found moderate overlap between teens’ closest online and offline friends, the patterns suggest that adolescents use online contexts to strengthen offline relationships.
Summary: Adolescents use social media to meet their intimacy needs as well as other developmental needs. According to the study, online interactions do satisfy certain intimacy and other developmental needs. Adolescents are also able to become in contact with a wider range of people in which they would not normally be in contact with.

The laptop and the lecture: The effects of multitasking in learning environments.

Hembrooke, H. & Gay, G. (2003). The laptop and the lecture: The effects of multitasking in learning environments. Journal of Computing in Higher Education, 15 (1).

Abstract: The effects of multitasking in the classroom were investigated in students in an upper level Communications course. Two groups of students heard the same exact lecture and tested immediately following the lecture. One group of students was allowed to use their laptops to engage in browsing, search, and/or social computing behaviors during the lecture. Students in the second condition were asked to keep their laptops closed for the duration of the lecture. Students in the open laptop condition suffered decrements on traditional measures of memory for lecture content. A second experiment replicated the results of the first. Data were further analyzed by “browsing style.” Results are discussed from Lang’s Limited Process Capacity model in an attempt to better understand the mechanisms involved in the decrement.

Summary: Hembrooke and Gay (2003) examined the effects of the use of laptops in the classroom (multitasking) on performance. Based upon Broadbent’s theory of selective attention, participants engaged in dichotomous listening tasks remember little, if any, competing information. Explanations for the performance decrement usually involve discussion of limitations in the amount of information that can be either selectively attended to, processed, or encoded. The present study compared two groups of students. One group was allowed to use their laptops to engage in browsing, searching, and computing social media behaviors during class. Students in the other group were asked to keep their laptops closed during class. Throughout the course students were given the responsibility to monitor their own computing activities. While some students use their laptops to explore lecture topics in greater detail on the internet, some engage in unrelated browsing, social media, etc. One day, participants were given a surprise quiz consisting of 20 questions on lecture content. The researchers discovered that page-relevant content did not predict better performance. Similarly, longer browsing sessions throughout the course resulted in lower overall class performance, while many and shower browsing sessions during a class period, regardless of content, led to higher class grades. The key factor appeared to be sustained distraction. We learned that chronic distraction—or chronic multitasking actually rewires the brain. The constant competing information distracts us, leads to memory disorganization, and decreases analytic reasoning.

A Generation Immersed in Media
Azzam, A. M. (2006). A Generation Immersed in Media. Educational Leadership, 63(7), 92-93.

This article briefly reports the findings of "Generation M: Media in the Lives of 8-18 Year-Olds," a study conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation and Stanford University researchers. The report studied media use a nationally representative sample of more than 2,000 3rd through 12th graders in the United States. The study found that although the actual number of hours that young people devote to media use has remained steady in recent years--at approximately six and one-half hours daily--teens are multitasking more as they engage in using various media simultaneously. This translates into eight and one-half hours of media exposure daily. Moreover, nearly one-third of the respondents indicated that they either talk on the phone, instant message, [[#|watch TV]], listen to music, or surf the Web for fun most of the time that they are doing their homework. The report, which includes detailed results by age, gender, race, and socioeconomic group, offers some interesting insights about 11- to 14-year-olds.

Summary: Article focuses on the fact that "tweens bedrooms are increasingly becoming media centers". Researchers look at the amount of time teens spend using technology, and the rules parents have established regarding thier use.

Reading while Watching Video

Lin, L., Lee, J., & Robertson, T. (2011). Reading while Watching Video: The Effect of Video Content on Reading Comprehension and Media Multitasking Ability. Journal Of Educational Computing Research, 45(2), 183-201.

Abstract: Media multitasking, or engaging in multiple media and tasks simultaneously, is becoming an increasingly popular phenomenon with the development and engagement in social media. This study examines to what extent video content affects students' reading comprehension in media multitasking environments. One hundred and thirty university students were given reading comprehension tests in two multitasking environments: the background environment (a video playing in the background that could be ignored) and the test environment (a video playing at the same time that the students knew they would be tested). Two different videos were used: one, a situational comedy, the other, an in-depth news report. Results indicate that the two videos affected reading comprehension differently, with the news report interfering more severely than the comedy, but also more easily ignored when necessary. Implications for social media and learning are discussed. (Contains 3 tables and 3 figures.)


Students were given a reading assessment and were exposed to TV at that same time. Two videos were played in the different environments a news report greatly affected the results of the assessment while a comedy was more easily tuned out.

Make learning matter for the multitasking generation
Adams, J. (2012). Make learning matter for the multitasking generation. Middle School Journal, 43(3), 6-12.
Abstract: The article discusses multitasking as it pertains to the behaviors of middle level, or middle school, learners. Particular focus is given to the use of technology by middle school students. The article presents ideas to middle school teachers of reading and writing on how they can use teaching methods that incorporate technology and allow students to multitask within a learning environment. Technological literacy is explored in teenagers and technologies such as virtual reality, blogs, and wikis are mentioned.
Summary: This article does a nice job of presenting teaching strategies that incorporate a variety of technology that teachers can utilize in their classrooms to adapt to multitasking learners.

Youth, Learning, and Social Media
Greenhow, C. (2011). Youth, learning, and social media. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 45(2), 139-146.


An introduction to the journal is presented in which the editor discusses reports within the issue on topics including the prevalence of social media use among American teenagers by June Ahn, online social networking practices of high school students in a formal learning context by Richard Beach and Candace Doerr-Stevens and the effect of media environments on the reading comprehension of young people by Lin Lin, Jennifer Lee and Eric Robertson. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

Summary: This article reviews briefly five research projects involving youth and media. It links the use of media in the classroom and everyday life into adolescent development. It discusses the results of these studies in respect to cognitive, psychological, self-identity, self-confidence, reading, writing, civic engagement, and social capital.


Language and Social Factors in the Use of Cell Phone Technology by Adolescents With and Without Specific Language Impairment (SLI)

Conti-Ramsden, G., Durkin, K., & Simkin, Z. (2010). Language and social factors in the use of cell phone technology by adolescents with and without specific language impairment (SLI). Journal Of Speech, Language & Hearing Research, 53(1), 196-208.


Purpose: This study aimed to compare cell phone use (both oral and text-based) by adolescents with and without specific language impairment (SLI) and examine the extent to which language and social factors affect frequency of use. Method: Both interview and diary methods were used to compare oral and text-based communication using cell phones by 17-year-olds: 52 adolescents with SLI and 52 typically developing (TD) peers. Results: Overall, adolescents with SLI are motivated users of mobile technology, and they engage with both oral uses (phoning) and text-based uses (text messaging). However, adolescents with SLI do not exchange text messages as often as their TD peers. Social rather than language factors are associated with frequency of cell phone use in adolescence. Conclusions: These findings indicate that social difficulties restrict text-based uses of cell phones by adolescents with SLI, which can in turn reduce the opportunities that these adolescents have to develop social networks and make arrangements to engage in peer social interaction.


This study looked at typically developing adolescents versus adolescents with a language impairment, who documented their use of cell phones for phone calls and text messages. SLI students sent less text messages than TD students. With the use of cell phones for socializing purposes on the rise, the study implied that the SLI students were more likely to face social difficulties.


The effect of multitasking on the grade performance of business students

Ellis, Y., Daniels, B., & Jauregui, A. (2010). The effect of multitasking on the grade performance of business students. Research In Higher Education Journal, 81-10.

The growth and expansion of communication technology have created a multitaskinggeneration of students who believe they are utilizing time more effectively by performing two or more tasks simultaneously. Multitasking refers to the concurrent processing of two or more tasks through a process of context switching. However, research by neuroscientists show that multitasking reduces the brain's ability to effectively retrieve information. The purpose of this study is to empirically examine whether multitasking in class affects the grade performance of business students. We conducted an experiment using 62 undergraduate business students enrolled in the first accounting principles course at a university in the Southeastern part of the United States. The students participated in a class lecture and afterwards were given a quiz covering the lecture content. One-half of the participants were allowed to multitask in the form of texting during a class lecture, while the other half of the participants were not. Our findings indicate that the exam scores of students who text in class are significantly lower than the exam scores of students who do not text in class. Thus, multitasking during class is considered a distraction that is likely to result in lower grade performance. The implications of this study can be very useful to students, instructors, administrators, and other academic stakeholders, about the effect of multitasking in a learning environment on students' grade performance. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

This article shows a specific example of how multitasking in a learning environment can effect one’s learning. The simple distraction of texting during a lecture, which most adolescents do without thinking twice, proved to lower test scores compared to adolescents who did not participate in the texting. This article also provides some information on the brain’s memory systems, and how they were tested in this study. It also further analyzes the findings by gender.

Lin, L., Lee, J., & Robertson, T. (2011). Reading while watching video: the effect of video content on reading comprehension and media multitasking ability. Journal Of Educational Computing Research, 45(2), 183-201.

Abstract: Media multitasking, or engaging in multiple media and tasks simultaneously, is becoming an increasingly popular phenomenon with the development and engagement in social media. This study examines to what extent video content affects students' reading comprehension in media multitasking environments. One hundred and thirty university students were given reading comprehension tests in two multitasking environments: the background environment (a video playing in the background that could be ignored) and the test environment (a video playing at the same time that the students knew they would be tested). Two different videos were used: one, a situational comedy, the other, an in-depth news report. Results indicate that the two videos affected reading comprehension differently, with the news report interfering more severely than the comedy, but also more easily ignored when necessary. Implications for social media and learning are discussed.

Summary: College age students were given three reading passages, one on each of the following subjects: science, politics, and history. The students were placed in a room with one of two video clips playing, either a news report or a comedy. They were then given an assessment on the reading passages. Some students were also given an assessment on the video clip even though they were told to ignore the video and focus on the reading. The participants were asked to report how much attention they spent on the reading and how much was spent on the video. The researchers found that the students’ attention to the reading assignment varied by the video clip they were given. The students scored higher on the reading assessment when placed in a room with a news clip playing rather than the comedy. Also, when given questions about the video clips, students watching the comedy scored higher than those who watched the news clip.

Cell Phones, Text Messaging, and Facebook: Competing Time Demands of Today's College Students

Hanson, T. L., Drumheller, K., Mallard, J., McKee, C., & Schlegel, P. (2011). Cell Phones, Text Messaging, and Facebook: Competing Time Demands of Today's College Students. College Teaching, 59(1), 23-30.

Abstract: This study of time use and entertainment choices of college students used a triangulated approach to discover how college students use and manage their time. From the data we gathered through time diaries, students indicated that the greatest amount of personal time is spent in some form of communication (talking face to face, texting, talking on the phone, and using social networking Web sites). Students spent about the same amount of time studying for courses (M = 11.91 hours per week, SD = 3.27) as they do actually attending courses each week (M = 12.35, SD 4.51). By comparison, students reported spending 14.35 hours each week texting and 6.49 hours talking on the phone. Females had statistically higher GPAs than males and scored higher on academic striving. Data indicated that students were engaged by instructors who seemed passionate about the content they were teaching, viewed their college education through the lens of a consumer model, and expected to have a personal connection with their professors. Recommendations for adapting instructional strategies are provided. (Contains 2 tables.) (Derived from PsychINFO database, Abstract written by the author).
Summary: Students today face multiple commitments and feel challenged to prioritize the things they need to do and the things they want to do. This article looked that the amount of time spent using some form of communication. Since the results highlighted a need for adapting instruction in order to maintain engagement, this article provides adaptation strategies. For example, teachers should: 1.) Understand the multiple demands on today’s students, 2.) Relate reading assignments to course work, 3.) Increase the amount of collaborative learning activities, 4.) Connect with students through their entertainment and communication interests, and 5.) Provide time management strategies.

Effects of Exposure to Sexual Content in the Media on Adolescent Sexual Behaviors: The Moderating Role of Multitasking with Media
Jeong, S-H., Hwang, Y., Fishbein, M. (2010). Effects of exposure to sexual content in the media on adolescent sexual behaviors: The moderating role of multitasking with media. Media Psychology, 13, 222–242.

Abstract: Young audiences frequently combine media use (e.g., television viewing) with other activities (e.g., homework); this is referred to as multitasking. This research uses longitudinal data to examine
the moderating role of multitasking by examining the effects of exposure to sexual content in the media on adolescents’ sexual behavior. Consistent with the predictions based on the limited capacity approach, there was a significant multitasking by exposure interaction suggesting that multitasking reduces the impact of media. More specifically, the effect of exposure to sexual content in the media on sexual behavior was significantly greater among light multitaskers than among heavy multitaskers. (Abstract from author)

Summary: This article evaluates sexual content in relation to multi-tasking. This could help with the other concerns or issues part of the question for the final exam. Sexual content seemed to significantly effect sexual behavior for light multi-taskers compared to heavy multi-taskers.

Reading while watching video: The effect of video content on reading comprehension and media multitasking ability.

Lin, L., Lee, J., Robertson, T. (2011). Reading while watching video: The effect of video content on reading comprehension and media multitasking ability. Journal of Educational Computing Research. 45(2), 183-201.

Media multitasking, or engaging in multiple media and tasks simultaneously, is becoming an increasingly popular phenomenon with the development and engagement in social media. This study examines to what extent video content affects students’ reading comprehension in media multitasking environments. One hundred and thirty university students were given reading comprehension tests in two multitasking environments: the background environment (a video playing in the background that could be ignored) and the test environment (a video playing at the same time that the students knew they would be tested). Two different videos were used: one, a situational comedy, the other, an in-depth news report. Results indicate that the two videos affected reading comprehension differently, with the news report interfering more severely than the comedy, but also more easily ignored when necessary. Implications for social media and learning are discussed.

Researchers at the University of North Texas, examined the effect multitasking has on our ability to comprehend (2011). Lin, Lee, & Robertson (2011), used differing video content (a situational comedy and a news report) as the background environment while participants read articles in history, politics, and science. Participants were divided into two groups and told they would be tested on the reading later. In one group they were further informed they did not have to pay attention to the video while they read, and in the other group they were explained that they would be tested on the video (2011). In the end, both groups were tested on both the reading material and the video content (2011). Lin, Lee, & Robertson (2011) found that the news report video content interfered more severely than the comedy; however, the news report was also easier to ignore when required. These results show the cost of multitasking, in that it is more difficult to assimilate information and gain an increased depth of knowledge.

Electronic media use, reading, and academic distractibility in college youth.

Levine, L. E. Waite, B. M. Bowman, L. L. (2007). Electronic media use, reading, and academic distractibility in college youth. CyberPsychology & Behavior. 10(4), 560-566.

Activities that require focused attention, such as reading, are declining among American youth, while activities that depend on multitasking, such as instant messaging (IMing), are increasing. We hypothesized that more time spent IMing would relate to greater difficulty in concentrating on less externally stimulating tasks (e.g., academic reading). As hypothesized, the amount of time that young people spent IMing was significantly related to higher ratings of distractibility for academic tasks, while amount of time spent reading books was negatively related to distractibility. The distracting nature and the context of IMing in this population are described.

The researches sought to better understand the relationship between IMing and students perceptions of their ability to maintain focus on their academic tasks. The study examined the extent of IMing compared to other media, the nature of IMing, and it’s connection to distractibility on academic tasks. They consider the impact of IMing to be: displacement of time available for study, direct interference on studying, and development of a cognitive style of short and shifting attention. The authors also discuss the implication on superficial multitasking as opposed to an in-depth focus on one task.

Examining the Effects of Student Multitasking With Laptops During the Lecture
Kraushaar, J. M., & Novak, D. C. (2010). Examining the effects of student multitasking with laptops during the lecture. Journal of Information Systems Educations, 21, 241-251.

Abstract:This paper examines undergraduate student use of laptop computers during a lecture-style class that includes substantial problem-solving activities and graphic-based content. The study includes both a self-reported use component collected from student surveys as well as a monitored use component collected via activity monitoring "spyware" installed on student laptops. We categorize multitaskingactivities into productive (course-related) versus distractive (non course-related) tasks. Quantifiable measures of software multitasking behavior are introduced to measure the frequency of student multitasking, the duration of student multitasking, and the extent to which students engage in distractive versus productive tasks. We find that students engage in substantial multitaskingbehavior with their laptops and have non course-related software applications open and active about 42% of the time. There is a statistically significant inverse relationship between the ratio of distractive versus productive multitasking behavior during lectures and academic performance. We also observe that students under state the frequency of email and instant messaging (IM) use in the classroom when self-reporting on their laptop usage. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

Summary:This research article aimed to examine student multitasking through the use of laptops during a lecture. The sample included 97 students from three different sections of a class taught at a university. Data was collected over the course of a 15 week semester. The researchers found that students who engaged more frequently in multitasking had decreased academic performance compared to those with a low frequency of multitasking. Similarly, students who engaged in this multitasking longer also had decreased academic performance. The researchers also found that students who engaged in higher rates of distractive versus productive tasks also had decreased academic performance.

Children, Adolescents, and the Media:. Health Effects
Victor C., S., Amy B., J., & Ed, D. (n.d). Children, Adolescents, and the Media:. Health Effects. The Pediatric Clinics Of North America, 59(Children, Adolescents, and the Media), 533-587. doi:10.1016/j.pcl.2012.03.025

Abstract: The media can be a powerful teacher of children and adolescents and have a profound impact on their health. The media are not the leading cause of any major health problem in the United States, but they do contribute to a variety of pediatric and adolescent health problems. Given that children and teens spend >7 hours a day with media, one would think that adult society would recognize its impact on young people's attitudes and behaviors. Too little has been done to protect children and adolescents from harmful media effects and to maximize the powerfully prosocial aspects of modern media.
Summary: A big part of this article is that adolescents spend their time listening or watch the media instead of sleeping, reading, studying, exercising, or so much more. This shows that their school work is effected, this concentration skills are effected, and finally multi- tasking is effected overall. Throughout this article it also mentions that adolescents spending anywhere up to seven hours have a chance of also receiving health problems that could cause serious damage in the future.

Does Media Use Have a Short-Term Impact on Cognitive Performance?: A Study of Television Viewing and Video Gaming
Asja, M., Klara Maria, K., Friederike, M., & Arnold, L. (n.d). Does Media Use Have a Short-Term Impact on Cognitive Performance?: A Study of Television Viewing and Video Gaming. Journal Of Media Psychology, 2365-76. doi:10.1027/1864-1105/a000038

Abstract: It has often been shown that the amount of media use is negatively related to cognitive outcomes. The more time spent on media the poorer cognitive performance is. This association has mainly been found for general-audience, violent, and action-loaded contents but not for educational contents. Typically, long-term-explanations like the time-displacement hypothesis are considered to account for this relation, although this cannot fully explain the association. Additionally short-term explanations should be considered, since it can be expected that media-induced stress can impair information processing. The present study compares short-term effects regarding memory performance and the ability to concentrate, using four different experimental conditions (high- vs. low-arousing films and video games). It was also examined if the experienced level of stress mediates group differences and if habitual media, habitual use of age-restricted contents or the trait sensation seeking moderate this mediation. Participants consisted of N = 117 university students. They were asked to learn written items before media use and to recall these after having used the media. Further, the ability to concentrate was measured. Experimental groups differed with regard to the cognitive outcome measures after media use. A significant univariate difference was found for high- vs. low-arousing contents in general (independent of type of media), the high-arousing content leading to poorer ability to concentrate after media use. The expected mediating and moderating effects are not supported. The study yields evidence that short-term mechanisms might play a role in explaining the negative correlations between media use and cognitive performance.
Summary: This article used past research to show that the amount of media taken in by adolescents negatively affects cognitive outcomes, which made the researchers decide to take this question a step farther. What is media is used to teach instead of just show violence and other things? The groups measured produced different outcomes, which depended on how interesting the content was according to the adolescents involved. The final conclusion was that short- term methods may play a role in explaining the negative relationship between media and performance; which means that the media and performance still have a negative relationship even though educational media is involved.

III. ADDITIONAL RESOURCES (Video clips, podcasts, lectures, etc.)

  1. Media Multitaskers
    Standford University. (2009). Media multitaskers pay mental price [Web]. Retrieved from

    This video is important because many people believe that they are good at multitasking. Adolescents, specifically, are supposed to be able to use their selective attention to be able to focus on one task at a time. This video demonstrates that those who are high multi-taskers can no longer do this. They are constantly scanning the environment even when they are told that certain things are irrelavent. This video basically found that multi-taskers are really bad at multitasking.
  2. genM: The Multitasking Generation
    1. Wallis, C. (2006, March 27). genm: The multitasking generation. Time, Retrieved from,9171,1174696,00.html
    2. The article from Time Magazine describes the activities of today's family in the household: a son using Instant Messanger, MySpace, and listening to music on iTunes, a daughter on the computer IM'ing, talking on her cell phone, and doing homework simulantaously, and the father answering phone calls and emails on his cell phone during dinner.
    3. Other topics in the article include: family relationships and dynamic, multiprocessing and intrapersonal connectivity, young people's learning, reasoning, socializing, and creative work abilities, social and psychological implications, brain's physiological multi-tasking abilities, the relationship between stimulation and performance, and the affects on learning.
    4. 82% of seventh grades online


Foehr, U. (2006). Media Multitasking Among American Youth: Prevalence, Predictors and Pairings. Retrieved from
  • This study was completed by the Kaiser Family Foundation, which is a non-profit private operating organization.
  • Research shows that people experience more brain growth from enriched, stimulating experiences. The brain adapts based on the use of media multitasking as well. It also mentions that brain capacity is finite and attention to one task diminishes as another is introduced.

4. Digital_Nation: Life on the Virtual Frontier
Dretzin, R. (Producer) (2010). Digital_nation: Life on the virtual frontier [Web]. Retrieved from

This is an interesting video documentary on the ongoing debate with the potential overuse of media in the everyday lives of adolescents and young adults. Some of the main points it hits on are:

  1. concerns about information overload and multitasking;
  2. the role of computers and digital technology in education & learning; and,
  3. the nature and impact of virtual reality and virtual worlds on real-world life and culture

5. Help Your Teen Conserve Neural Resources during Homework

Postal, Karen Spangenberg, Ph.D. (2011). Help Your Teen Conserve Neural Resources during Homework. Psychology Today. Retrieved from

This article discusses the adolescents inability to multitask as efficiently as adults and how this type of functioning can negatively affect their [[#|academic]] work.

6. MSNBC Interview

An interview with a neuroscientist who has been part of an ongoing study about brain development and media use. The neuroscientist suggests that adolescent brains will be ok and can adapt to the demands of multi-tasking and be trained to focus when necessary. He suggests sports and music as a means to train the brain to focus.

7. Portrait of a Multitasking Mind
Kenner, N. & Poldrack, R. (2009). Portrait of a Multitasking Mind. Scientific American. Retrieved from

This article suggests that media-multitasking increases distractability and limits the ability to focus on what is important during information gathering. Media-multitaskers take everything in, but then cannot focus on specifics. The article provides suggestions for how to adapt media-multitasking to be beneficial, including using a bottom-up approach where simple things like to-do lists or post-it notes serve to inform our behavior.

8. Negative Effects of Technology on Children
(2010). Negative effects of technology on children. Penn State University. Retrieved from

Summary and description:

This site is an interesting source as it addresses various elements of one’s life that may be impacted by electronics including: academics, laziness, family life, violence, and obesity. Many of these factors do not tie into the cognitive aspects we were looking for but the academic section was helpful and thought other might find it useful! It offers some interesting statics including that 16-18 year old perform, on average, 7 tasks at a time! (Negative Effects of Technology on Children, 2010). I found one quote on here intriguing as I feel that many other professionals ask this questions as well “I worry that people won’t be able to summon the capacity to focus and concentrate when they need to,” said Vickey Rideout, a Vice President at the Kaiser Foundation.

9. Can Kids Multitask?
Walsh, D. (2011). Can kids multitask? Psychology Today. Retrieved from:
Summary and Description
This website article discusses the question of whether or not kids can multitask. Dr. David Walsh responds to this question as Yes and No. He reports that yes, we can quickly skim over information such as that as presented on a website and we can do our homework while listening to music, as we get better at processing information in efficient ways (synthesizing and evaluating information). He then addresses the cost of this “rapid fire processing.” “When kids are multitasking, their brains are spending so much energy making quick decisions and responding to stimuli that they have fewer mental resources of comprehension and retention,” (Walsh, 2011). Therefore, multitasking may effective with one aspect, such as speed of processing, one may retain a significantly less amount of information. There is also a research article that is a link on the website titled “a couple of researchers at Cornell” that addresses the effects of multitasking in learning environments.

Microstructure abnormalities in adolescents with internet addiction disorder
Yuan, K., Qin, W., Wang, G., Zeng, F., Zhao, L., Yang, X., & ... Tian, J. (2011). Microstructure abnormalities in adolescents with internet addiction disorder. Plos ONE, 6(6), doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0020708
AbstractBackground:Recent studies suggest that internet addiction disorder (IAD) is associated with structural abnormalities in brain gray matter. However, few studies have investigated the effects of internet addiction on the microstructural integrity of major neuronal fiber pathways, and almost no studies have assessed the microstructural changes with the duration of internet addiction.
Methodology/Principal Findings: We investigated the morphology of the brain in adolescents with IAD (N = 18) using an optimized voxel-based morphometry (VBM) technique, and studied the white matter fractional anisotropy (FA) changes using the diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) method, linking these brain structural measures to the duration of IAD. We provided evidences demonstrating the multiple structural changes of the brain in IAD subjects. VBM results indicated the decreased gray matter volume in the bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), the supplementary motor area (SMA), the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), the cerebellum and the left rostral ACC (rACC). DTI analysis revealed the enhanced FA value of the left posterior limb of the internal capsule (PLIC) and reduced FA value in the white matter within the right parahippocampal gyrus (PHG). Gray matter volumes of the DLPFC, rACC, SMA, and white matter FA changes of the PLIC.
were significantly correlated with the duration of internet addiction in the adolescents with IAD.
Conclusions: Our results suggested that long-term internet addiction would result in brain structural alterations, whichprobably contributed to chronic dysfunction in subjects with IAD. The current study may shed further light on the potential brain effects of IAD.

This study highlighted that internet addiction disorder (IAD) is associated with structural abnormalities in brain gray matter which has been studied and validated. This research project delved deeper and suggests that long-term internet addiction results in brain structural alterations. An explanation was given how information is transmitted between frontal and subcortical brain regions which processes higher cognitive functioning and human behaviors. In people with IAD, there is atrophy of gray matter and changes in white matter that is correlated with duration of internet addiction. These structural abnormalities interfere with cognitive function, resulting in impaired executive and memory functions. Also the study noted that addiction to internet use can cause other physical discomforts or medical problems such as carpal tunnel syndrome, dry eyes, backaches and headaches.

Millennials may benefit and suffer due to hyperconnected lives.
Shah, R. (2012, March 2). Millennials may benefit and suffer due to hyperconnected lives. Retrieved from

Summary: Analysts generally believe many young people growing up in today’s networked world and counting on the internet as their external brain will be nimble analysts and decision-makers who will do well. But these experts also expect that constantly connected teens and young adults will thirst for instant gratification and often make quick, shallow choices. Where will that leave us in 2020?These survey respondents urge major education reform to emphasize new skills and literacies.


For all sections, please be sure to include relevant and correctly formatted citations.

(2010). Negative effects of technology on children. Penn State University. Retrieved from

Summary and description:
This site is an interesting source as it addresses various elements of one’s life that may be impacted by electronics including: academics, laziness, family life, violence, and obesity. Many of these factors do not tie into the cognitive aspects we were looking for but the academic section was helpful and thought other might find it useful! It offers some interesting statics including that 16-18 year old perform, on average, 7 tasks at a time! (Negative Effects of Technology on Children, 2010). I found one quote on here intriguing as I feel that many other professionals ask this questions as well “I worry that people won’t be able to summon the capacity to focus and concentrate when they need to,” said Vickey Rideout, a Vice President at the Kaiser Foundation.