The Effects of Positive and Negative Self-Interruptions in Discretionary Multitasking
Human multitasking is often the result of self-initiated interruptions in the performance of an ongoing task. Compared to externally induced interruptions, self-interruptions have not received enough research attention. To address this gap, this paper develops a detailed classification of self-interruptions rooted in positive and negative feelings of task progress based on responses subjects provided after completing a multitasking laboratory experiment. The results suggest that multitasking due to negative feelings is associated with more self-interruptions than those triggered by positive feelings and that more self-interruptions may produce lower accuracy in all tasks. Therefore, negative internal triggers of self-interruptions seem to unleash a downward spiral that ultimately affects performance.
The work available here is the abstract.
Proceedings of the CHI 2012 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computer Systems
Adler, Rachel F. and Benbunan-Fich, Raquel, "The Effects of Positive and Negative Self-Interruptions in Discretionary Multitasking" (2012). Computer Science Faculty Publications. 23.