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Effectiveness of Dual Tasks / Broadcast and Song

For this study forty undergraduates of age 19-22 years were selected. They were randomly assigned to two groups consisting 20 in each group. A news broadcast and a song were identified as the two auditory tasks. Control group listened to the two auditory tasks separately and answered a question paper given. Experimental group listened to the both auditory tasks simultaneously and answered the question paper. According to the accuracy of the answers marks were given. Mean scores obtained by two groups were compared using two tailed Student’s T-Test for independent samples. Marks scored by the experimental group are significantly lower than that of the control group. It was concluded that dual simultaneous auditory tasks are highly ineffective when compared to separate occurrences.According to the findings on the subject of the brain functions, simultaneous performance of dual or multiple tasks is difficult for people due to limitations of the human cognitive process. It is widely thought that the brain focuses attention only on one task at a time (Mei-Ching, 2006). However some scientists believe divided attention is nearly effective as single task or even beneficial in some combinations. According to the findings dual tasks are sometimes important to reduce the occurrence of unfavorable outcomes to an individual who is performing a critical duty such as military mission (Pew, 1995).In addition to human brain functions there can be other factors which can affect the effectiveness ofmultitasking. Eysenck (2004) reviewed many dual tasks experiments conducted in the USA and found three possible factors which can interfere with the dual task performance. The first factor is known as Task similarity. It has been evidenced that effective dual task performances occurred mostly in dissimilar task which use different sensory stimulus such as visual-auditory and physical-auditory than similar tasks (Treisman, 1973). The second factor is the Practice, where the effectiveness of conducting dual tasks was greatly improved with the train. However some studies showed they were still not effective as single tasks. The third factor was the Difficulty or the complexity of the tasks been performed. It was found that the Effectiveness of simple dual tasks was higher than complex or dificult dual tasks (Eysenck, 2004).