Task Switching

Topics: Scientific method, Parity, Cognitive science Pages: 4 (1042 words) Published: April 15, 2012
Throughout the day, people constantly find themselves starting, stopping and finishing many different cognitive tasks. This study was conducted to discover the effect that task switching has on performance. Thirty eight students participated in this experiment. They were asked to complete both repeating and switching tasks. The 100 total tasks were fully randomized with 50 task repeating and 50 task switching. It was hypothesized that when a participant will be asked to switch a task over repeating one, he or she will be significantly slower in reacting. The collected data revealed that in fact, the reaction time for task switching trials was significantly higher than for repeating ones. These findings supported the hypothesis. One can conclude from here that when one switches between cognitive tasks they can expect themselves to perform less than optimally then when they repeat the same task over and over.


In today’s world, we complete many different tasks within one day. Majority of these different tasks are completed all at once. While, doing this, we are using our available resources to accomplish our tasks. As you may very well know this is time consuming. But it is more time consuming to this when completely switching from one task to another. This is known as task-switching. Task- switching is switching from one task to another (cite). Could you use real world examples? When performing a task- switch, ultimately a task- switching cost will occur. The Task switching cost is when people are performing a task, then switches to another task, which ultimately cost them more time to perform than, maintaining the initial task they were initially performing. Before, there can be a task switch, first there has to be a task set. A task set is a procedural schema or mental representations, which is triggered by external stimuli (cite). These mental representations changes when there is a switch between tasks. When triggered, our...
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