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Old 08-06-2019, 06:35 PM
 
332 posts, read 157,860 times
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Switching back and forth between two tasks isn't what most people mean when they say they can multitask.

Regardless, they are sadly mistaken.

Here is my illustration of what multitasking would be like -- if it were possible.

Do you know anyone who can play one of Mozart's piano concertos while simultaneously solving differential equations in their mind?
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Old 08-07-2019, 05:08 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
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Any person who makes meals for a family multi tasks. Anyone who makes Thanksgiving or any other celebratory dinner, has multi tasked.

I multitask every morning that I make breakfast.
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Old 08-07-2019, 06:17 PM
 
Location: San Antonio/Houston/Tricity
38,460 posts, read 56,264,167 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Azureth View Post
Found this interesting:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/b...n-t-multi-task

Makes a lot of sense, I always thought it was dumb when people would brag about how "great multi-taskers" they are.
I am not sure if that's the right definition. If multitasking is doing two or more things at the same time, then yes - we can and we all do without much effort.
Examples: talking while walking, sending e-mails during a meeting, driving and talking with a passenger or on phone, talking on the phone while watching TV, listening to music while cooking dinner, exercising while watching TV etc...etc...
Even if the brain switches tasks, it does in a millisecond, and that doesn't affect the quality of our multitasking. While one is more a mindless "automation" the other could be performed with more conscious care. Like walking a treadmill and talking or listening to music. Or sitting on an exercise bike and watching TV. Singing while playing the piano.

The example in the article - juggling a ball includes catching and releasing. Two tasks, both need your focus and attention. But there is multitasking that could be successfully done when one of them does not require high concentration. Like those listed above.
So, while the brain can't effectively handle more than two complex, related activities at once, handling two is not a big deal, and handling three is still very much possible. I just don't believe in two-task limit on human multitasking ability.
Because while here are conditions in which you can't add a third task, it depends on the type of task and whether it draws on other parts of the brain. Like walking, eating and listening to music. Three tasks, most of us have done. Effortlessly.
And what about playing violin while reading notes? Two hands perform different tasks, AND you're reading the notes. One most likely could walk, play violin and read notes at the same time (4 tasks?)

I just thought about examples of 5 or more tasks performed at once: playing the organ (two hands, two feet while reading the notes, and chewing gum = 6 tasks, no?). Each hand has different notes to play, the legs have to push pedals, you also read and chew..... Ha!
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Last edited by elnina; 08-07-2019 at 06:30 PM..
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Old 08-08-2019, 09:14 AM
 
Location: Rutherfordton,NC
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I beg to differ here driving a can with a manual gearbox is multitasking. Iím sure I could think of others but thatís the one that came to mind first.
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Old 08-08-2019, 09:23 AM
 
Location: Middle America
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silibran View Post
Any person who makes meals for a family multi tasks. Anyone who makes Thanksgiving or any other celebratory dinner, has multi tasked.

I multitask every morning that I make breakfast.
But you're still less effective than you'd be if focusing on one task at a time.
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Old 08-08-2019, 10:52 AM
 
Location: equator
3,643 posts, read 1,601,052 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reed067 View Post
I beg to differ here driving a can with a manual gearbox is multitasking. Iím sure I could think of others but thatís the one that came to mind first.
Shifting gears is muscle-memory. Like typing. I'm thinking, reading what I type AND typing. But I am not giving one thought to the typing, nor do I think about shifting gears.

Anything that involves muscle-memory, which so many of these listed activities are, does not really engage the brain much, if at all.
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Old 08-08-2019, 02:31 PM
 
Location: Rutherfordton,NC
14,886 posts, read 9,219,586 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sand&Salt View Post
Shifting gears is muscle-memory. Like typing. I'm thinking, reading what I type AND typing. But I am not giving one thought to the typing, nor do I think about shifting gears.

Anything that involves muscle-memory, which so many of these listed activities are, does not really engage the brain much, if at all.
Pushing a clutch in and shifting would be considered multitasking ask any millennial .

One of the jobs I work at requires you to keep run TWO machines at the same time while keeping up with the count on each of them. And they are two different machines.
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Old 08-08-2019, 10:55 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
22,260 posts, read 14,612,761 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TabulaRasa View Post
But you're still less effective than you'd be if focusing on one task at a time.
Well, not necessarily. Yes, if I am learning a new technique or recipe. Otherwise, no. I am pretty effective at getting meals on the table, with each dish done at the same time. I have 49 years of experience doing this, after all. I multi task breakfasts most mornings as well.

I think cooking a meal is probably a prime example of multi tasking.
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Old 08-09-2019, 12:02 AM
 
137 posts, read 114,911 times
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If people believe this garbage, no wonder the low actual state of human evolution.





Quote:
Originally Posted by Azureth View Post
Found this interesting:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/b...n-t-multi-task





Makes a lot of sense, I always thought it was dumb when people would brag about how "great multi-taskers" they are.
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Old 08-09-2019, 01:54 PM
 
Location: Colorado
12,112 posts, read 7,437,635 times
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I would argue that multitasking is absolutely possible. But I do believe that some people are better at it, or it manifests in different ways, and the same person's ability with this can change with age, or with training.

When I was a kid, I got into a lot of trouble in school for drawing pictures during class. This used to frustrate me, because if I had to just sit there like a doll, staring at the teacher while they spoke, and that was it...which may have LOOKED like good listening to the teacher...my brain would either start a sort of boredom shut-down where I would fall asleep, or it would wander off into some far more complex thought process that would make it impossible for me to follow what the teacher was saying.

But! Give me something to occupy my hands and eyes, that I didn't need a word-driven train of thought to process, like drawing, and my brain would suck up the lecture and retain it well. Better by far, than if I was not drawing at the same time. I've noticed a lot of people taking up knitting and crocheting, which I think is a similar thing. It gives parts of the brain a task so that they are not idle, and then you can hear and/or speak, in an engaged way.

If I am driving, and have no music to listen to and no one to talk to, and boredom sets in over time, I'm far more likely to become drowsy or to have my mind wander. In a time like that, especially if I am, say, on a long stretch of highway, not handling constant input from cross-traffic, signals, and so on in town, if I just try and "focus on driving" when it simply is not giving enough demand on my brain, I really do believe I'm far better off getting someone on the phone to talk to, to keep me in an alert state. I've done enough long distance driving to have a good idea of how my mind works in these situations. Boredom is not conducive to alertness.
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