Critical thinking research shows that true multitasking is not possible.

In our society, it's become common to claim multitasking as an attribute when studies have shown that all you are really doing is dividing your attention and relegating one or more of the tasks to your unconscious mind.

Jim Walters on the Power of Learning Show with Andy Brownell on KROC-AM explains there are two basic types of thinking. System one thinking encompasses unconscious activities, or things we can do without giving them any thought. System two thinking involves conscious effort, like driving, computer programming, surgery or any other activity that requires we pay attention to what we are doing.

Walters says studies show the human mind can only handle one conscious undertaking at a time and when more than one is attempted, at least one of the activities will be handled by the unconscious mind while the other consumes conscious thought. The switch might be fairly rapid, leading people to believe they are actually handling more than one conscious activity or task at the same moment, but Walters says that is simply not true and can be especially dangerous when the two activities are driving and texting on a cell phone.

The YouTube video at the top of the post is from Jim's appearance on The Power of Learning Show during Rochester Today on KROC-AM from October 24, 2016. The Power of Learning Show can be heard the fourth Monday of every month on KROC-AM.