Multiscreening (using a device like a smartphone while watching TV) is pervasive and may have beneficial and detrimental consequences for informed citizenship. This national survey (N = 847) examines how multiscreening during debates and TV news during the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign was related to political learning. Multiscreening was associated with higher levels of thinking about politics (elaboration) and greater confidence about knowledge (information efficacy) but lower actual knowledge. The positive relationship with efficacy yet negative relationship with knowledge raises the possibility that multiscreening contributes to overconfidence. Implications for cognitive resource theories are discussed.
- political information efficacy
- political knowledge
- political learning