Research Methodologies for Multitasking Studies

Research Methodologies for Multitasking Studies

Lin Lin (University of North Texas, USA), Patricia Cranton (University of New Brunswick, Canada) and Jennifer Lee (University of North Texas, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8057-7.ch037

Abstract

The research on multitasking is scattered across disciplines, and the definitions of multitasking vary according to the discipline. As a result, the research is not coherent nor consistent in the approaches taken to understanding this phenomenon. In this chapter, the authors review studies on multitasking in different disciplines with a focus on the research methodologies used. The three main research paradigms (empirical-analytical, interpretive, and critical) are used as a framework to understand the nature of the research. The strengths and weaknesses of the research in each of the paradigms are examined, and suggestions are made for utilizing different research methodologies to bring clarity to the research in this field. Such an endeavour will help to build interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research and help guide future research and theory building.
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Terms And Definitions Of Multitasking In Different Disciplines

A number of definitions have been proposed to explain people’s preferences for tasks and how their attention may be affected when they perform two or more tasks. Table 1 summarizes some common definitions of the multitasking phenomenon.

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