What do we mean by multitasking? – Exploring the need for methodological clarification in time use research
AbstractWe can learn a lot about society by knowing how people spend their time during the typical day. However, in-consistency in the recording of time use, specifically, in how we record details of people’s participation in more than one activity at a time (“multitasking”), may be preventing full understanding of how people use their time in their everyday lives. It is not clear what “we” – as academics, survey designers and participants – mean by “mul-titasking”. This may be affecting the reliability and validity of recorded multitasking. In consequence, we may not know what we think we know about time use, with implications for “knowledge” in a wide range of aca-demic disciplines and policy areas. This paper begins by presenting examples of popular use of the term “multi-tasking”, taken from a national (GB) survey, illustrating a diversity of understanding of the term amongst par-ticipants. Next, analysis of selected time use diaries highlights the impacts of this diversity in meaning for inter-participant and inter-survey consistency and therefore for reliability and validity. Finally, the paper raises a num-ber of questions regarding the meaning of multitasking, with reference to its conceptualisation in selected aca-demic papers. The paper identifies an important gap in the research literature, illustrating a need for methodo-logical investigation in time use research, to enhance our understanding of the meaning of multitasking and therefore to enhance the comparability, reliability and validity of time use studies.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Research Institute on Professions (Forschungsinstitut Freie Berufe (FFB)) and The International Association for Time Use Research (IATUR) in its journal electronic International Journal of Time Use Research.
Volume (Year): 7 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (October)
Marriage; time use; Bangladesh; gender; leisure; work introduction;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Social and Economic Stratification
- J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Lyons, Glenn & Jain , Juliet & Susilo , Yusak O. & Atkins, Steve, 2013. "Comparing rail passengers’ travel time use in Great Britain between 2004 and 2010," Working papers in Transport Economics 2013:17, CTS - Centre for Transport Studies Stockholm (KTH and VTI).
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Joachim Merz).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.