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Gloria Mark - UC Irvine. Irvine, CA, US

Gloria Mark

Chancellor's Professor Informatics | UC Irvine


Gloria Mark's research area is human-computer interaction (HCI) studying how technology has impacted individuals, groups, and society.






Gloria Mark, University of California, Irvine Gloria Mark: Gloria Mark, UCI Informatics Professor -  ISR Research Forum 2017


UCI Podcast: If you can't pay attention, you're not alone



Gloria Mark is Professor of Informatics at the University of California, Irvine. She received her PhD from Columbia University in psychology. She has been a visiting senior researcher at Microsoft Research since 2012. Her primary research interest is in understanding the impact of digital media on people's lives and she is best known for her work in studying people's multitasking, mood and behavior while using digital media in real world environments. She has published over 150 papers in the top journals and conferences in the fields of human-computer interactions (HCI) and Computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW) and is author of the book Multitasking in the Digital Age. She was inducted into the ACM SIGCHI Academy in 2017 in recognition for her contribution in HCI. She has been a Fulbright scholar and has received an NSF Career grant. Her work has been recognized outside of academia: she has been invited to present her work at SXSW and the Aspen Ideas Festival and her work on multitasking has appeared in the popular media, e.g. New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR, The Atlantic, the BBC, and many others. She was general co-chair of the ACM CHI 2017 conference, was papers chair of ACM CSCW 2012 and ACM CSCW 2006, and currently serves as Associate Editor of the ACM TOCHI and Human-Computer Interaction journals.

Areas of Expertise (4)

Information Technology

Email Interruptions

Human-Computer Interaction


Accomplishments (3)

ACM CHI Academy (professional)


Google Research Award (professional)


IBM Faculty Award (professional)


Education (2)

Columbia University: PhD, Psychology 1991

The University of Michigan: MS, Biostatistics 1984

Affiliations (3)

  • Assoc. for Computing Machinery (ACM) : Member
  • Fulbright Association

Media Appearances (8)

The workplace attention span is dead: 60% of employees can’t go 30 minutes without getting distracted

Fortune  online


Concentration has been on the decline for decades, argues Gloria Mark, a professor of informatics at the University of California, Irvine, and author of Attention Span: A Groundbreaking Way to Restore Balance, Happiness and Productivity. … “In 2004, we measured the average attention on a screen to be two and a half minutes,” Mark told CNN. “Some years later, we found attention spans to be about 75 seconds. Now we find people can only pay attention to one screen for an average of 47 seconds.

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5 Essential Tips For How Leaders Can Skyrocket Productivity

Forbes  online


A Harvard study suggests the popular open-office layout could hinder productivity. These environments can prevent focus and don't necessarily enhance teamwork as once thought. ... University of California, Irvine, Professor Gloria Mark revealed it takes an average of 23 minutes to refocus after an interruption. Creating a personal space that limits distractions can significantly increase your productivity.

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How I Got My Attention Span Back

The Wall Street Journal  online


Research shows our attention spans have been shrinking over time. In 2004, we could stay focused on a screen for 150 seconds on average. In 2012, we were down to 75 seconds. Between 2016 and 2020, it had fallen to an average of 47 seconds. That’s according to Gloria Mark, a professor emerita at University of California, Irvine, and author of the book “Attention Span.” … Mark, the UC Irvine professor, says my experiment was like a crash diet: effective but fleeting. I needed some kind of longer-term plan to help keep me at peak attention span.

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How to improve focus: Try these 5 tips to increase attention span

USA Today  online


Gloria Mark, a chancellor’s professor emerita at the University of California, Irvine and the author of “Attention Span,” first began studying attention spans in 2003. … There are two types of attention – rote and active. Active attention is an engaging and challenging state of focus, Mark says, like when reading a difficult book or writing a paper. When you’re engaged but not challenged (like watching a video or playing Candy Crush) you’re using rote attention. In her research, Mark found that people are happiest when using rote attention but experience a deeper fulfillment when they use active attention. Use these five tips to balance the two.

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Americans check their phones 144 times a day: How you can break bad digital habits

CNBC  online


Frequently switching between tasks can have consequences on your health, according to Gloria Mark, a professor of informatics at the University of California, Irvine, who wrote a book about attention span and how to refocus when distracted. Shifting what you’re focusing on often can increase levels of stress, require more mental effort to complete tasks and cause feelings of frustration and time pressure, Mark told Fast Company in 2008.

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A Multitasker’s Guide to Regaining Focus

The New York Times  online


“Usually, when people think they’re multitasking, they’re actually switching their attention back and forth between two separate tasks,” said Gloria Mark, a professor of informatics at the University of California, Irvine, and author of “Attention Span: A Groundbreaking Way to Restore Balance, Happiness and Productivity.”

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Man, Interrupted — The High Cost of Distractions

Medium  online


The cost of losing focus is about 25 minutes per interruption. … And I didn’t make this stuff up. Multiple academics have studied how long it takes to return to your original task after an interruption. It turns out Gloria Mark from the University of California, Irvine is the Original G on this topic. She says these distractions not only ruin your focus and mental progress, but they also have negative emotional effects. They often lead to higher stress and bad moods. Sure, Gloria notes half of our daily interruptions are self-inflicted; and it’s just more time wasted — it’s keeping us from our best thinking.

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Actually, compartmentalizing can be good for you

Los Angeles Times  online


As questions about our political, environmental and technological future loom, experts say that compartmentalizing can be a useful tool to help us regulate our emotions and face challenges without falling apart. Yes, it’s a defense mechanism that sometimes gets a bad rap, said Gloria Mark … professor [emeritus] of informatics at UC Irvine — but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad for you. “It’s a function that helps us navigate through our days without being burdened by all the stress,” she said.

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Articles (5)

Characterizing Exploratory Behaviors on a Personal Visualization Interface Using Interaction Logs

OSF Preprints

Poorna TalkadSukumar, Gonzalo J Martinez, Ted Grover, Gloria Mark, Sidney D'Mello, Nitesh V Chawla, Stephen M Mattingly, Aaron D Striegel

2020 Personal visualizations present a separate class of visualizations where users interact with their own data to draw inferences about themselves. In this paper, we study how a realistic understanding of personal visualizations can be gained from analyzing user interactions. We designed an interface presenting visualizations of the personal data gathered in a prior study and logged interactions from 369 participants as they each explored their own data.

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A Multisensor Person-Centered Approach to Understand the Role of Daily Activities in Job Performance with Organizational Personas

Proceedings of the ACM on Interactive, Mobile, Wearable and Ubiquitous Technologies

Vedant Das Swain, Koustuv Saha, Hemang Rajvanshy, Anusha Sirigiri, Julie M Gregg, Suwen Lin, Gonzalo J Martinez, Stephen M Mattingly, Shayan Mirjafari, Raghu Mulukutla, Subigya Nepal, Kari Nies, Manikanta D Reddy, Pablo Robles-Granda, Andrew T Campbell, Nitesh V Chawla, Sidney D'Mello, Anind K Dey, Kaifeng Jiang, Qiang Liu, Gloria Mark, Edward Moskal, Aaron Striegel, Louis Tay, Gregory D Abowd, Munmun De Choudhury

2019 Several psychologists posit that performance is not only a function of personality but also of situational contexts, such as day-level activities. Yet in practice, since only personality assessments are used to infer job performance, they provide a limited perspective by ignoring activity. However, multi-modal sensing has the potential to characterize these daily activities. This paper illustrates how empirically measured activity data complements traditional effects of personality to explain a worker's performance.

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Stress and productivity patterns of interrupted, synergistic, and antagonistic office activities

Scientific Data

Shaila Zaman, Amanveer Wesley, Dennis Rodrigo Da Cunha Silva, Pradeep Buddharaju, Fatema Akbar, Ge Gao, Gloria Mark, Ricardo Gutierrez-Osuna & Ioannis Pavlidis

2019 We describe a controlled experiment, aiming to study productivity and stress effects of email interruptions and activity interactions in the modern office. The measurement set includes multimodal data for n = 63 knowledge workers who volunteered for this experiment and were randomly assigned into four groups: (G1/G2) Batch email interruptions with/without exogenous stress.

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The Perpetual Work Life of Crowdworkers: How Tooling Practices Increase Fragmentation in Crowdwork

Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction

Alex C Williams, Gloria Mark, Kristy Milland, Edward Lank, Edith Law

2019 Crowdworkers regularly support their work with scripts, extensions, and software to enhance their productivity. Despite their evident significance, little is understood regarding how these tools affect crowdworkers' quality of life and work. In this study, we report findings from an interview study (N=21) aimed at exploring the tooling practices used by full-time crowdworkers on Amazon Mechanical Turk.

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Understanding smartphone usage in college classrooms: A long-term measurement study

Computers & Education

Inyeop Kim, Rihun Kim, Heepyung Kim, Duyeon Kim, Kyungsik Han, Paul H Lee, Gloria Mark, Uichin Lee

2019 Smartphone usage is widespread in college classrooms, but there is a lack of measurement studies. We conducted a 14-week measurement study in the wild with 84 first-year college students in Korea. We developed a data collection and processing tool for usage logging, mobility tracking, class evaluation, and class attendance detection. Using this dataset, we quantify students' smartphone usage patterns in the classrooms, ranging from simple use duration and frequency to temporal rhythms and interaction patterns.

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