Brown (1998) investigated the concept of “time-sharing” proposed in earlier work on multi-tasking by Fogarty (1982) . Fogarty (1982) describes time-sharing as a factor that emerges when two tasks are undertaken simultaneously. This sharing of time between the tasks is the extra factor over and above those associated with performing each of the tasks in isolation.
In Brown’s paper two experiments were undertaken, one that involved completing a single task (manual tracking) and one dual tasks (manual tracking and a timing task). The following outcomes were found:
– An interference effect. Doing two tasks at the same time disrupted the speed of the timing task and made it more variable.
– A relationship between practice and interference. Practice on the tracking task under single-task conditions reduced the interference effect in timing. However, practice on the dual-task test was not successful at minimising the interference effect.
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Research has shown that while intelligence in its traditional form, including tasks assessing verbal, numerical, visuo-spatial, reasoning and working memory, is the best predictor of job performance, other skills are also important for managerial success.
Sternberg’s (1996; 1997) triarchic theory of intelligence proposes that intelligence is comprised of traditional analytic skills, practical skills and creativity. He advises that managers need all these components of intelligence in order to be successful. Practical skills are those used in the workplace to guide interactions, help solve problems and knowing how to act in certain situations. They are usually acquired without the direct help of other people. Creativity in the workplace is about seeing old problems and situations in new ways, or the catch phrase of the early 2000’s: thinking outside the box.
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In our efforts to ensure that we offer the most up-to-date, empirically based, well researched tools available, we are constantly doing research and market-place testing of our new assessment tools.
We even go to China!
In an earlier blog we introduced the Multi-Tasks test, an empirically based competing tasks measure with a long history in job selection research that is particularly useful for predicting job performance in managerial roles. We have now developed an updated online version of this tool and tested it on a group of workers in China. Our findings show Multi-Tasks to be a valid, reliable predictor of job performance in the Chinese marketplace, particularly for more senior roles.
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