Anastasia Kononova Named One of the Most Prolific Media Multitasking Researchers

Dr. Anastasia Kononova, an associate professor in the Department of Advertising + PR, has been named one the ten most prolific media multitasking researchers in the world, in a new Bibliometric study. 

A member of the College of Communication Arts and Sciences faculty since 2013, Kononova has immersed herself in the world of media multitasking research for more than a decade — and has an extensive publication record to show for it. 

“I do the work because I’m very passionate about it,” Kononova said of her primary research topic. “That passion explains why I’ve published so many articles, and continue to broaden my scope while honing in on different variables within multitasking research.” 

Media multitasking occurs when individuals are exposed to or switch their attention between multiple media messages or various devices at one time. Kononova found this idea to be both fascinating and concerning, since technology seems to be all-consuming today. She wondered how this habit affects our physical and mental processes and has found the perfect environment to study its effects here at ComArtSci.

“I would not have been able to publish so much work without my research collaborators and co-authors,” said Kononova. “I couldn’t have done it without MSU students and faculty, and colleagues at other universities in and outside the U.S., including Kuwait, Netherlands, Russia, and Taiwan. I am grateful to my wonderful collaborators and mentees for working with me in this area and sharing the excitement I have toward this research topic.” 

Within the broad topic area of media multitasking, Kononva has taken on a variety of specific questions from “How do your snacking habits change when you’re consuming multiple forms of media at once?” to “Does stress play a role for how much medical students multitask?” 

“The importance of this research goes beyond describing the patterns of media use where multiple technologies and devices are constantly present in peoples’ lives and used at the same time,” Kononova said. “A big part of my research explores how media multitasking affects us cognitively, emotionally, and in terms of judgment, decision making, and actual behavior.” 

Today, Kononova seeks to answer even more multitasking questions through a variety of projects within the Advertising + PR department, including:

A psychophysiological lab experiment to investigate how well participants perform a simulated driving task while they listen to music streams with and without ads. In this, Kononova and her team are trying to understand if listening to music interrupted with ads has the most detrimental effect on driving. 

A study that looks at the effects of media multitasking preference on evaluation of ads that touch on the topic of social justice. 

A dissertation by Kononova’s graduate advisee, Kristen Lynch (a doctoral candidate in MSU’s Information and Media doctoral program), studying how media multitasking affects the ability of media users to detect misinformation online. 

“As you can see, there’s just so much within the term ‘multitasking,’” Kononova said. “The field of media and communication is in need of organizing multitasking research and outlining suggestions for theory development — and I hope to build on my body of research and lead that charge in the near future.”   

Learn more about Kononova’s work and the Department of Advertising + PR.