Multitasking with information technology (IT) may impact how much pleasure people experience during hedonic activities, especially multisensory activities that involve touching, listening, and watching. However, past research on IT multitasking has primarily focused on utilitarian professional contexts. Drawing from dual-task-interference theory and flow theory, we address this gap by hypothesizing how multisensory characteristics positively influence the hedonic experience and how that effect deteriorates with IT-related multitasking. In addition, we examine how personality traits influence this moderating effect. We conducted a mixed-method laboratory experiment using explicit (self-reported) and implicit measures (electrodermal activity, automatic facial analysis, and electroencephalogram) to test our hypotheses. Participants listened to music while sitting on a high-fidelity vibro-kinetic armchair (one that generates vibrations and movement perfectly aligned with the music) and engaged in simultaneous IT-related tasks. The results generally support our hypotheses and represent a call for people to mindfully avoid multitasking with their IT devices while enjoying hedonic activities. In addition, our results suggest that people high in extraversion or neuroticism personality traits are likely to be more vulnerable to IT-related deterioration effects in this context. This study contributes to explaining the multitasking phenomenon with IT during leisure activities and underlines the benefit of such activities’ sensory characteristics.
Multitasking with Information Technologies: Why Not Just Relax?.
AIS Transactions on Human-Computer Interaction, 13(4), 369-406.
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