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  1. #21
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    I'm training to become a conference interpreter. Believe me, we multitask(listening in one language, understanding, sometimes writing something down, and at the same time speaking, IN A DIFFERENT language).

  2. #22
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    I used to write essays while listening to music and eating dinner... Does that count as 3 activites?

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by DAngel View Post
    I used to write essays while listening to music and eating dinner... Does that count as 3 activites?
    You can chew while you type and listen to music, but in the moments when you are using your utensils or picking up you sandwich, you are really doing only two things. It's like the example I gave above - you can do three things at one time, especially if one gets involves only one skill (i.e. chewing, looking). Chewing gum can be done with two other activities.

    But if the three are more complex, you're probably doing two of them sequentially.
    Last edited by Japanfan; 04-17-2010 at 06:59 PM.

  4. #24
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    Let's see... if you watch me on a typical 5-6pm weekday you will see me: doing laundry/ helping 3 kids with their homework (my ADHD son is particularly difficult)/ cooking dinner/ and tending to my now 5 year old daughter. Hubby's at work at this hour so I have no help at all. I may move from one activity after another every 2 minutes or so but I know I can stir the pot/ add in ingredients, help my 2nd son with his fractions, ensure my 1st son is on task with his work, listen to my 6 year old read for her reading log, and keep a close eye on my pre-schooler (even holler at her if need be) all at the same time... maybe sequentially done but extremely quick...we're talking boom, boom, boom.

    I'm inclined to be skeptical because Koechlin is male and males are notorious for not being able to multi-task. I wonder if any of his colleagues were females?

  5. #25

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    I'm reading this thread, eating and listening for the dishwasher to stop all at the same time. (That's using three different senses, but I also count that those dishes are being washed too - efffective multi-tasking )

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by myhoneyhoney View Post
    I'm inclined to be skeptical because Koechlin is male and males are notorious for not being able to multi-task. I wonder if any of his colleagues were females?
    Males can multi-task but it's a learned skill and traditionally, women have learned because child-minding and house-tending involves a lot of multi-tasking - in contrast to more traditional male functions (i.e. hunting, farming,f fighting).

    I've no doubt that single dads or men more involved in parenting are better at multi-tasking. And that male chefs would be excellent multi-taskers.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Japanfan View Post
    Males can multi-task but it's a learned skill and traditionally, women have learned because child-minding and house-tending involves a lot of multi-tasking - in contrast to more traditional male functions (i.e. hunting, farming,f fighting).

    I've no doubt that single dads or men more involved in parenting are better at multi-tasking. And that male chefs would be excellent multi-taskers.
    I came across a study a few months ago that actually did an experiment that looked at brain activity in males and females while faced with more than one task, and there were definite differences....I'll have to go find it...

    But with many human traits, there are usually exceptions to the general tendency, and many genetic predispositions are subject to modification by learning or being overridden, at least to an extent, in various ways.
    Disclaimer: The post contained herein represents the opinions of a fan and may or may not bear any relation to reality.

  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by AYS View Post
    I came across a study a few months ago that actually did an experiment that looked at brain activity in males and females while faced with more than one task, and there were definite differences....I'll have to go find it...
    Was it it about the corpus callosum? Research about that is often raised in support of arguments that women are more scattered/better at multi-tasking and men more focused and directive.

    I tend to question all gender research because it is so deeply influenced by gender norms and biases. And studies have been done which raise doubts about claims of biologically-based gender differences, including the corpus callosum. And it's been pointed out that children's brains actually continual developing after birth for a number of years and research shows that brain development is affected by culture and environment as well as biology. Cross-cultural studies are therefore really important in the investigation of biologically-based claims.

    One example is visual-spatial skills, which men are commonly seen to be stronger in than women. A study done by anthropologist J. W. Berry compared Eskimo children to the Temne children of Sierra Leone. Both live in very different physical environments (Eskimos living in largely featureless vast landscapes, the Temne living in lands with many more colors and more vegetation.). Also, Temne girls are much more restricted and granted far less autonomy than Eskimo girls . The study found no difference in visual-spatial skills of Eskimo boys and girls, while there was a marked difference in Temne boys and girls.

    A lot of different factors influence the development of visual-spatial skills - dads playing balls with boys, being one example. And so on and so forth. . .

    And I believe the same to be true of multi-tasking.

  9. #29
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    I was talking to my husband about this over dinner and he said that he had just read about it in Marilyn vos Savant's column last week.

    http://www.parade.com/askmarilyn/201...-04-11-10.html

    What many people call “ multitasking” is a myth. Studies show that if a task requires concentration, you can’t actually do more than one at a time. You can think, listen to music, and run all at once because listening to music and running don’t require you to focus. But you can’t write a paragraph and read one at the same time.

    I think that's true; I also think that what most people think of as multitasking is really fast sequencing, which is not the same thing. But while I can talk on the phone and watch TV at the same time as long as the friend isn't telling me something I need to pay attention to and the show doesn't require my full attention, I can't talk to my friend and grade papers at the same time because grading papers requires a lot of concentration, and I sure couldn't balance the checkbook while doing anything else. I can make dinner and help the kids with their homework--but only as long as the homework is something I know very well and don't have to think about, which hasn't been the case for quite a while .

    I'm not sure that I buy that men can't multitask, either. A lot of men can't juggle household issues as well as women can, but a lot of them don't have as much practice, either. My husband can handle multiple complex jobs at work and does all the time; he regularly juggles multiple longterm projects and always has a good grasp on what is due when and when he needs to focus on one instead of another. He doesn't juggle, say, the kids' activities as well as I do, but he doesn't do it nearly as often, either. With a little practice, I think he would manage perfectly well, probably better than I do.
    "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."-- Albert Einstein.

  10. #30
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    The study that I posted about doesn't give a breakdown of the sex of the research participants, so maybe it was skewed in some way we don't know about, but I'm kind of doubting its simply biased because a lead author is male.

    Its an interesting study that looked at people doing two tasks at once and used brain imaging to see which parts of the brain were active. They concluded that a particular portion of the brain easily divides to keep track of two tasks at once. When they gave the subjects three tasks the error rate and response time on the third task deteriorated significantly from that for the first two tasks when they were just given two.

    Or more or less something like that is what I got from reading the original peer-reviewed paper.
    Congratulations 2014 World Ice Dance Champions Anna Cappellini & Luca Lanotte!!!

  11. #31
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    It drives me nuts when women talk about women versus men re multitasking. I can't even have anyone talk to me when I am cooking. I have to stop whatever I am doing if someone asks me a question. Sometimes I can't even process what the other person is saying to me until I complete what task I am involved with. If I try to "multitask" I go into total spin mode and get really confused. It is embarassing at work.

    My husband, on the other hand, can talk on two phones and answer email without seeming distracted. He is very efficient at doing many things at once.
    ‎"You emerge victorious from the maze you've been travelling in." Oct 21,2012- Best Fortune Cookie Ever!

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