In order to clarify the associate between media multitasking and attentional ability, the current study employed a multi-identity tracking and multi-object tracking task to explore the effects of media multitasking on attentional control in a dynamic stimulus environment. Using a combination of questionnaire method (study 1) and experimental method (study 2 and 3), the results showed that: (1) media multitasking significantly negatively predicted dynamic visual attention; (2) the influence of media multitasking on individuals' dynamic visual attention was mediated by cognitive load. Under the level of high cognitive load, the dynamic visual attention of high-media multitaskers was significantly lower than that of low-media multitaskers; while under the level of low cognitive load, there was no significant difference between them; (3) The effect of media multitasking on dynamic visual attention was not moderated by media-related cues. That is, the dynamic visual attention impairment exhibited by high-media multitaskers is not only reflected in generalized neutral scenes, but also in specific media-related scenes.
This study firstly supported the attentional impaired hypothesis in dynamic attentional processing, which enrich the theory of media multitasking in adolescents.