Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
The multitasking phenomenon is very prevalent among students. Research on the multitasking phenomenon has either explored the extent to which it exists among students, or assessed the impact of multitasking on students' learning activities through non-voluntary multitasking experiments. However, what causes students to multitask has not received much attention. As multitasking has become a part of students' lives, it is important to understand the possible antecedents and the possible effects of the multitasking phenomenon on students. The purpose of this study is to investigate factors influencing students' multitasking behavior as well as the relationship between multitasking behavior and students' academic achievement. This was accomplished through the lens of polychronicity and behavior studies where polychronicity, sensation seeking, and technology dependence were identified as the predictors of multitasking. Viewpoints from psychology studies, brain studies, and empirical research indicated learning under distractions impairs students learning. 230 usable observations were collected through an online survey. This study adopted a two-step approach in testing the proposed model. Results of the measurement model exhibited appropriate construct validity. Following the measurement model, the structural model suggested polychronicity and sensation seeking were predictors of students' multitasking behavior, whereas technology dependence did not make a significant contribution to students' multitasking behavior. The results of the structural model also suggested that multitasking did impact students' academic performance. However, the impact found in this study contradicted that found in previous research.
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