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Deadlines in Space: Selective Effects of Coordinate Spatial Processing in Multitasking
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Cognitive psychology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Cognitive psychology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Cognitive psychology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Cognitive psychology. University of Trieste, Italy.
2016 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Many everyday activities require coordination and monitoring of multiple deadlines. One way to handle these temporal demands might be to represent future goals and deadlines as a pattern of spatial relations. We examined the hypothesis that spatial ability, in addition to executive functioning, contributes to individual differences in multitasking. Participants completed a multitasking session in which they monitored four digital clocks running at different rates. We predicted and found that individual differences in spatial ability and executive functions were independent predictors of multiple-task performance. Individual differences in spatial ability were also selectively related to multiple-task performance, as only coordinate spatial processing, but not categorical, predicted multitasking, even beyond executive functioning and numeracy. Furthermore, males outperformed females in spatial ability and multitasking and these sex differences generalized to a complex simulation of everyday multitasking. Menstrual changes moderated these effects in that sex differences in coordinate spatial processing and multitasking were observed between males and females in the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle, but not between males and females at menses. Overall, these findings suggest that multiple task performance reflects independent contributions of spatial ability and executive functioning. Furthermore, our results support the distinction of categorical vs. coordinate spatial processing, and suggest that these two basic relational processes are selectively affected by female sex hormones and differentially effective in transforming and handling temporal patterns as spatial relations in the context of multitasking.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. p. 74-75
Keywords [en]
deadlines, spatial processing, multitasking
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-138884OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-138884DiVA, id: diva2:1069319
Conference
International Meeting of the Psychonomic Society, Granada, Spain, May 5-8, 2016
Available from: 2017-01-27 Created: 2017-01-27 Last updated: 2017-01-27

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
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Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
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  • html
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