Who Multitasks on Smartphones? Smartphone Multitaskers' Motivations and Personality Traits

Sohye Lim, Hongjin Shim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


This study aimed to explore the psychological determinants of smartphone multitasking. Smartphone multitasking comprises the following three different subtypes: multitasking with nonmedia activities, cross-media multitasking with nonsmartphone media, and single-device multitasking within the smartphone. The primary motivations for smartphone multitasking were first identified - efficiency, utility, and positive affect - and the ways in which they are associated with the three subtypes were examined; among the primary motivations, efficiency and positive affect predicted the degree of total smartphone-multitasking behavior. The personality traits that are pertinent to all of the primary motivations - need for cognition (NFC) and sensation seeking (SS) - were also investigated. Further analyses revealed that the motivations for and the extent of smartphone multitasking can vary as functions of a user's NFC and SS. In this study, NFC was not only a meaningful predictor of the cognitive needs that drive smartphone multitasking but also increased the likelihood of multitasking through its interaction with SS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-227
Number of pages5
JournalCyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright 2016, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.


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