Watching Anime on Second Monitor Instead of Primary Monitor Boosts Productivity, Studies Show

Researchers at the University of Chicago published a report Monday identifying a correlation between user productivity and usage of a secondary monitor rather than their primary monitor for anime streaming.

“Our findings show that using a secondary monitor angled slightly off to the side rather than a primary monitor in front of a user’s face significantly affects user productivity for non-anime related activities,” said research assistant Ben Zhu, citing an experiment in which a student was able to write a full paragraph in under six hours while streaming the anime, Sword Art Online: Alicization, on an offset monitor.

Zhu went on to state how computer users who watched anime on a second screen were found to be able to preserve nearly 60% of their attention on material presented in front of them. In additional instances of the study, attentiveness appeared to depend on the angle at which the second monitor was placed. For screens placed at 180 degrees, just outside a human’s line of vision, nearly 61% of attention was found to be preserved.

“For many users, we found that experiencing the act of completing an anime to be more important than paying attention to the story itself. It’s enough to at least get the subject in a productive mindset,” added Zhu. “Of course they aren’t actually doing anything productive, but the fact that they think they are accomplishing something is enough to trigger motivation.”

The paper was finally submitted to the American Journal of Productivity Studies, despite the research study commencing years ago. Researchers cited difficulty finding test subjects and the fact they were watching Gintama on their primary monitor.


About the author

Part time hibernator and professional computer starer. She likes the three minutes you have to wait after you pour water in a ramen cup and hates cute anime mascot creatures. Twitter: @Dango_Ramen