Posts Tagged Puzzle

Is Boyfriend Stringing Me Along?


Okay, so I’ve been talking to this boy for about 2 months now and as far as I was concerned everything was perfect. He’s totally successful, smart, funny, and everything I’m attracted to in a guy. Not to mention, the attraction is completely equal on both our parts. We’ve texted every day since we met, and even though we live 45 minutes away from each other, he still makes time to come see me at least once a week.

Lately, however, I’ve been feeling really confused. His text messages are a lot shorter, and usually consist of 1-3 texts between the two of us. I’m not the girl to blow up a guys phone, so normally I just let it go and wait for his text the next day or whenever he decides to talk to me again. It sounds pathetic on my part, but I’m not going to make a big deal out of nothing when it could be just him being a crap texter. Anyways, these past two weeks he’s still been texting me every day but sometimes when I respond to his text message…he’ll just drop off the face of the earth. He won’t respond to me at all, and I won’t even hear from him till the next day.

He also hasn’t made the effort to come see me at ALL in the past 2 weeks…I’m confused as to why he’s even wasting his time texting me if all he’s not even interested in actually talking to me. Is he stringing me along? We’ve already had sex and I think that’s why I’m getting myself so worked up about this….hopefully someone can solve the pieces to my puzzle here because it’s driving me INSANE.

A: During the first couple of months of dating, most new couples are obsessed with each other. Once that first blush of romance is over, a more realistic rhythm for the relationship sets in. You say this man is successful. That means he puts time and energy and focus into his work. He can’t do that and be totally available to you. For that matter, you can’t be successful at your work either if you are texting all the time.

It’s not at all unreasonable for adults who have careers and interests to only text or talk to each other once a day or to see each other once a week (as an example). What is unreasonable is not talking about what is reasonable.

You and your guy need to have a clear conversation about where this relationship is going and what you need from each other. What you see as only keeping contact may be making him feel crowded. What he sees as reasonable contact is, quoting you, “driving you insane.” There’s no right number of texts or talks or dates needed to make a relationship work. What is needed is an agreement that is comfortable for both of you.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Multi-Tasking Competence Varies with Tasks, Often Over-estimated


Multi-Tasking Competence Varies with Tasks, Often Over-estimatedMost have heard the warnings that multi-tasking is inefficient, ineffective and may be dangerous, then go ahead and do it anyway.

A new study qualifies the general disclaimers that some types of multi-tasking are more dangerous than others.

For example, trying to do two visual tasks at once hurt performance in both tasks significantly more than combining a visual and an audio task, the research found.

Researchers also discovered that people who tried to do two visual tasks at the same time rated their performance as better than did those who combined a visual and an audio task — even though their actual performance was worse.

“Many people have this overconfidence in how well they can multitask, and our study shows that this particularly is the case when they combine two visual tasks,” said Zheng Wang, lead author of the study.

“People’s perception about how well they’re doing doesn’t match up with how they actually perform.”

The study appears in a recent issue of the journal Computers in Human Behavior.

Researchers used eye-tracking technology to show that people’s gaze moved around much more when they had two visual tasks compared to a visual and an audio task. Additionally, they spent much less time fixated on any one task.

That suggests distracted visual attention, Wang said.

In the study, participants who were performing two visual tasks were asked to complete a pattern-matching puzzle on a computer screen while giving walking directions to another person using instant messaging (IM) software.

Those who combined a visual and an audio task tried to complete the same pattern-matching task on the screen while giving voice directions using audio chat.

The two multitasking scenarios used in this study can be compared to those drivers may face, Wang said.

People who try to text while they are driving are combining two mostly visual tasks, she said. People who talk on a phone while driving are combining a visual and an audio task.

“They’re both dangerous, but as both our behavioral performance data and eyetracking data suggest, texting is more dangerous to do while driving than talking on a phone, which is not a surprise,” Wang said.

“But what is surprising is that our results also suggest that people may perceive that texting is not more dangerous – they may think they can do a good job at two visual tasks at one time.”

In the study 32 college students sat at computer screens and were asked to complete a matching task in which they saw two grids on the screen, each with nine cells containing random letters or numbers.

They had to determine, as quickly as possible, whether the two grids were a “match” or “mismatch” by clicking a button on the screen. They were told to complete as many trials as possible within two minutes.

After testing the participants on the matching task with no distractions, the researchers had the students repeat the matching task while giving walking directions to a fellow college student, “Jennifer,” who they were told needed to get to an important job interview.

Participants had to help “Jennifer” get to her interview within six minutes. In fact, “Jennifer” was a trained confederate experimenter. She has been trained to interact with participants in a realistic but scripted way to ensure the direction task was kept as similar as possible across all participants.

For this part of the task, half of the participants used instant messaging software (Google Chat) to type directions while the other half used voice chat (Google Talk with headphones and an attached microphone) to help “Jennifer” reach her destination.

Results showed that multitasking, of any kind, seriously hurt performance.

Researchers found that in the group that gave audio directions performance in visual pattern-matching dropped by 30 percent drop in visual pattern-matching performance.

Participants who used instant messaging did even worse — they had a 50 percent drop in pattern-matching performance.

Interestingly, although those who gave audio directions completed more steps in the directions task than did those who used IM, when asked to rate themselves, those that gave IM gave themselves higher ratings that those who used audio chat.

“They’re both dangerous, but as both our behavioral performance data and eyetracking data suggest, texting is more dangerous to do while driving than talking on a phone.”

“It may be that those using IM felt more in control because they could respond when they wanted without being hurried by a voice in their ears,” Wang said.

“Also, processing several streams of information in the visual channel may give people the illusion of efficiency. They may perceive visual tasks as relatively effortless, which may explain the tendency to combine tasks like driving and texting.”

Eye-tracking results from the study showed that people paid much less attention to the matching task when they were multitasking, Wang said. As expected, the results were worse for those who used IM than for those who used voice chat.

Overall, the percentage of eye fixations on the matching-task grids declined from 76 percent when that was the participants’ only task to 33 percent during multitasking.

Fixations on the grid task decreased by 53 percent for those using IM and a comparatively better 35 percent for those who used voice chat.

“When people are using IM, their visual attention is split much more than when they use voice chat,” she said.

These results suggest we need to teach media and multitasking literacy to young people before they start driving, Wang said.

“Our results suggest many people may believe they can effectively text and drive at the same time, and we need to make sure young people know that is not true.”

In addition, the findings show that technology companies need to be aware of how people respond to multitasking when they are designing products.

For example, these results suggest GPS voice guidance should be preferred over image guidance because people are more effective when they combine visual with aural tasks compared to two visual tasks.

“We need to design media environments that emphasize processing efficiency and activity safety. We can take advantage of the fact that we do better when we can use visual and audio components rather than two visual components,” Wang said.

Source: Ohio State University

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