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Michael Livingston, Psychology


This study investigates the relationship between media multitasking and memory among undergraduate students at a small, liberal arts college in Minnesota. The participants (N=20) were randomly assigned using block randomization to either the experimental group which was asked to study a list of 20 words while watching a video clip or the control group which only studied the set of 20 words. All of the participants were given 2 minutes to study the list of 20 words and then 2 minutes to write as many words as they could recall from their memory. The participants who watched the video clip were asked to answer questions about the video to ensure the independent variable was manipulated correctly. I found that participants who media multitasked by watching a video had a more difficult time recalling words from the list compared to those in the control group (t (18) = -2.427, p-value = .026, mean difference = -4.20, and standard error difference = 2.79). These results suggest that people who media multitask while they study may have a more difficult time recalling information from their memory compared to those who do not multitask while they study information.

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