Investigating the relation between boredom and media multitasking
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Media multitasking entails simultaneously engaging in multiple tasks when at least one of the tasks is based in media. Despite the abundance of research devoted to understanding the antecedents of media multitasking, little research has focused directly on what might be the most common trigger of media multitasking: boredom. Across two studies, we tested the assumption that state boredom leads to media multitasking by manipulating participants’ levels of boredom using video mood inductions prior to administering an attention-demanding 2-back task during which participants could media multitask by playing a task-irrelevant video. Experiment 1 also explored whether individual differences in trait boredom proneness predict the extent to which participants media multitask in the lab. We found no direct evidence for the view that state boredom leads to media multitasking. However, trait boredom proneness predicted greater amounts of media multitasking in Experiment 1. Unexpectedly, in both experiments, post-task ratings of boredom were equivalent regardless of mood induction condition, alerting us to the short-lived effects of video mood inductions and the boring nature of cognitive tasks. The implications of our findings are discussed in detail.
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Allison Drody (2020). Investigating the relation between boredom and media multitasking. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/16268