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ERI-Talk - Ymkje Haverkamp: "Effects of media multitasking on integrative processing and integrated understanding of multiple documents: How to handle multitasking studies in an experimental context?"

  • September 28th, 2023
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October 6th 2023. 12:00h. Onsite session. Language: English.

Effects of media multitasking on integrative processing and integrated understanding of multiple documents: How to handle multitasking studies in an experimental context?

Ymkje Haverkamp

University of Oslo


Living and learning in the 21st century often means being connected, with engaging content never being far off. What happens to our reading comprehension if we give in to distractions and break our focus during reading to interact with non-compatible media tasks such as social media posts? Media multitasking refers to simultaneous engagement in two activities, or the act of switching between multiple activities, of which at least one is a media activity. In our study we investigated the effects of media multitasking and the effects of main idea summarization versus rereading on integrative processing during, and integrated understanding after reading.  We had 134 Norwegian students read four partly conflicting texts on sun exposure and health on a laptop – with the goal to write a report on the issue after. Half of the participants engaged in media multitasking – being sent short TikTok clips or Instagram posts, while the other half read the documents without distractions. What participants did after reading each paragraph was also manipulated. Half of the participants were asked to summarize the main idea of each paragraph in writing, and the other half were asked to simply reread each paragraph. Our findings suggest that the multitasking on a smartphone disturbed the integrative processing as well as the integrated understanding of the texts, with main idea summarization potentially mitigating these negative effects. In this talk some of the results of our first paper (currently under review) will be presented, however the focus will lie on the research design and choices with regards to multitasking manipulations to open the floor for a discussion of how to best design experimental and/or correlational studies for future research in this field.



Ymkje Haverkamp is currently a PhD student at the Department of Education, University of Oslo. Her work, under supervision by Ivar Bråten and Helge Strømsø, focuses mainly on reading on digital devices, and questions different ways the reading environment of the 21st century can impact our reading strategies and reading comprehension, due to differences across devices and contexts. Through her supervisors she got to meet several of the researchers connected to ERI Lectura, and her first experimental study of the PhD project led to a collaboration with Ladislao Salmerón. At the moment she is doing a research stay at the University of Valencia in order to work with ERI Lectura.  She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Leiden, and for her master’s degree she studied at the Centre for Educational Measurement, University of Oslo (CEMO).