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Gen Y stereotypes debunked

Gen Y stereotypes debunked

If their first experience of joblessness wasn't enough, generation Y's assumed technological lead over earlier generations is being challenged by researchers.

If their first experience of joblessness wasn't enough, generation Y's assumed technological lead over earlier generations is being challenged by researchers. A University College London research project has found that young and old alike only skim the surface of what they read online. But the project's leader, David Nicholas, considers this more of a problem for younger, "digital natives" who lack the information assessment skills of those trained to use conventional libraries. "I think a lot of people ... are not able to benefit from the fruits of an information society," Nicholas says, "because they don't know how to handle that vast amount of information which they have to make sense of."

The director of Flinders University's Centre for Science Education in the 21st Century, Martin Westwell, also questions the famed ability of gen Yers to text, tweet, message, blog and watch TV, all at the same time.

"Strictly speaking, there is no such thing as multi-tasking," Westwell says. "What we do is switch our attention very quickly between doing one thing at a time, but interspersed ... Young people are less able to do that because the area of the brain that deals with this switching between two tasks isn't as well developed ... until their early 20s. So actually, older people are much better at multi-tasking than young people."

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