Bob Ragazzo is a certified Defensive Driving Instructor, and the founder of 2 online driver training
Teenagers think it’s cool to multi-task. They’re masters at it. They watch TV, surf the Internet, text their friends and do their homework — all at the same time.
It’s almost like a badge of honor to them to see how much they can do at once.
Unfortunately, many teens include driving among their multi-tasking list -- and that’s a critical mistake.
Research has repeatedly shown that the human mind isn't built for multi-tasking. In fact, the research indicates that multitasking may even have long-term harmful effects on brain function.
One example of this comes from a study by Stanford University authored by Adam Gorlick and researche by the late Clifford Nass. Professor Nass performed experiments with 262 college students that required them to switch tasks, filter irrelevant information and use working memory. The expectation was that the multitasking students would outperform those that didn’t multitask—at least on some of the activities.
Instead, the results were exactly the opposite. Multitasking students were abysmal at all three tasks. What was even more alarming was that only one experiment actually involved multitasking. That told Nass that even when they focus on a single activity, those who frequently multitask actually use their brains less effectively.