Choices, choices: task selection preference during concurrent multitasking


While threaded cognition has helped us in our understanding of multitasking, it has not yet explained how people determine which task to perform. Motivation is considered to play a large role in selecting and executing goals (Vancouver et al., 2010). However, we believe that cognitive factors also play an important role: interference that arises between two tasks that require the same resource at the same time leads to reduced performance and increased execution times. Intuitively, this is something that people will try to avoid. As such, cognitive factors can affect which tasks people will prefer to perform concurrently. Our hypothesis is that when people have to choose between combinations of tasks, they will choose the combination that has the smallest resource conflict.

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