Questions for “Can’t remember? Maybe you multitask too much between screens”

hands holding phones up in front of a TV showing a tennis match

Many people check their phones while watching TV or videos or doing other screen-based activities.

LeoPatrizi/iStock/Getty Images Plus

To accompany “Can’t remember? Maybe you multitask too much between screens


Before Reading:

1. What is multitasking and what are some examples from your everyday life?  What is media multitasking?

2. Give an example of short-term memory. What’s an example of long-term memory?

3. How many hours a day would you say you spend looking at the screens of electronic devices including cellphones, computers and TVs? 

During Reading:

1. According to one report cited in the story, how many hours on average do 8-to-18-year olds spend looking at electronic screens each day?

2. How many hours do people in this age group spend looking at two devices at once?

3. What does an EEG, or electroencephalogram, measure?

4.  Which parts of the human brain are involved in attention and memory?

5.  Do alpha waves increase or decrease when people pay close attention to something?  

6.  What happens when eye pupils dilate? What happens to the pupils when people play close attention to something? What happens to the pupils when people “zone out?”

7. In regard to media multitasking, what does Vanderbilt University’s Ashleigh Maxcey suggest people do if they want to improve their memory?

After Reading:

1. What might be other negative impacts of spending a lot of time using electronic screen devices? What might be some positive aspects? Explain your answers.

2. How much time do you spend using two or more electronic devices at once during the day? How do you think this has affected your memory? Explain your answers with examples.