IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

What do we mean by multitasking? – Exploring the need for methodological clarification in time use research

  • Susan Kenyon

    ()

    (Centre for Health Services Studies - University of Kent)

Registered author(s):

    We 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.

    If 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.

    File URL: http://ffb.uni-lueneburg.de/eijtur/pdf/volumes/eIJTUR-7-1-3_Kenyon.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Article 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)
    Pages: 42-60

    as
    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:leu:journl:2010:vol7:issue1:p42-60
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://ffb.uni-lueneburg.de/repec/leu/

    More information through EDIRC

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:leu:journl:2010:vol7:issue1:p42-60. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    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.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.