An increasing number of credible sources, however, underscore that multitasking is bad for concentration and learning (Borst et al., 2010; Manhart, 2004; Merrill, 2012). The paper intends to review literature regarding multitasking, memory, learning, and performance. My hypothesis is the following: Multitasking decreases the quality of performance because the human brain cannot do more than one thing that uses a similar cognitive resource; switching tasks decreases concentration; and multitasking is distracting and stressful enough to reduce the effectiveness of short-term memory, which is the basis for long-term memory.
Sources used employed different research designs. Borst et al. (2010) made use of a quantitative experimental research design to study if the problem state creates bottlenecks in cognitive processing when multitasking. They defined the problem state resource as important in storing intermediate information that is essential in performing tasks (Borst et al., 2010, p.364). Their conceptual model is based on Salvucci and Taatgen’s (2008) threaded cognition theory, which states that each task is done through cognitive threads and that cognitive threads are connected to task goals which mobilize related task knowledge (as cited in Borst et al., 2010, p.365). The theory asserts that, even when several threads may be activated concurrently, only a single thread can access the procedural processor of the brain (Borst et al., 2010, p.365). In other words, limited brain resources constrain the performance of multiple tasks. In their study, Borst et al. (2010) conducted three experiments: Experiment 1 included two concurrent tasks (subtraction and text entry tasks) performed by 15 university students; Experiment 2 and 3 tested if interference came from the problem state than cognitive load where Experiment 2 included alternative subtraction and