Is There Anything Exceptional about ICT Use While Travelling? A Time Allocation Framework for and Empirical Insights into Multitasking Patterns and Well-Being Implications from the Canadian General Social Survey
Suggested Citation: Pawlak, Jacek, Giovanni Circella, John Polak, Patricia L. Mokhtarian, Aruna Sivakumar (2016) Is There Anything Exceptional about ICT Use While Travelling? A Time Allocation Framework for and Empirical Insights into Multitasking Patterns and Well-Being Implications from the Canadian General Social Survey. Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis, Research Report UCD-ITS-RR-16-35
Being involved in multiple tasks at the same time, usually termed multitasking, is a common presence in most people's lives as reported in various time use and travel behaviour studies. In recent years some researchers have explored the role of information and communication technology (ICT) devices in enabling a greater range of activities while travelling, whereas others reported links between ICT and increased time stress. In this paper, the authors investigate the extent to which ICT use during travel differs from uses during other activities, and how such patterns are linked to indicators of well-being. The authors present an extended microeconomic time allocation framework with a tensor-based time constraint which can be used to explain the propensity of certain activities to occur jointly. The authors operationalise our framework using a general linear model and the Canadian General Social Survey 2010 53 (n=13,313), also linking time allocation patterns to indicators of time crunch. The analysis indicates that secondary ICT activities constitute a comparatively low fraction of the time allocated to primary activities (although this is likely subject to underreporting). A number of socioeconomic attributes, such as age, education, and relationship status, are associated with the propensity to engage in ICT-based multitasking. The pattern of individual attributes associated with participation in secondary ICT activities is found to be reasonably consistent across primary activities, including travel. Finally, the authors note that ICT use as a secondary activity can be an indicator of time crunch, but the actual relationship depends on individuals' characteristics and the context of multitasking.
Presented at Transportation Research Board 95th Annual Meeting, Washington, DC, January 10-14, 2016