NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search
Development of a scale to assess occupational cognitive demands.
Ganster DC; Hurrell JJ Jr.; Thomas LT
Social, ergonomic and stress aspects of work with computers, proceedings of the Second International Conference on Human/Computer Interaction, August 10-14, 1987, Honolulu, Hawaii. Salvendy G, Sauter SL, Hurrell JJ Jr., eds. Oxford: Elsevier Science, 1987 Oct; 1:231-238
A psychometric instrument for evaluating cognitive task demands was developed. The technique was based on a human information processing model that visualized information processing in terms of perception, central information processing and decision making, response generation and control, and memory. It was assumed that the properties of the task performed by the worker had the potential to contribute to the overall cognitive load. Sixty two test items were developed that reflected the major processes occurring in the information processing model. Each item used a 4 point Likert response format. The items were combined in a questionnaire with scales that measured 17 different somatic complaints, questions that assessed overall subjective stress and mental and physical exhaustion, and items that evaluated demographic and occupational characteristics. The questionnaire package was tested on 512 workers, 52 percent of whom were female, mean age 32.7 years, chosen from 50 different job titles ranging from store clerk to newspaper editor and middle level manager. Test items that measured information load, memory load, and uncertainty were correlated with subjective stress, mental and physical exhaustion, and somatic complaints. The authors conclude that the questionnaire can provide insight into the cognitive demands of work. Information load, memory load, and uncertainty seem to be predictive of somatic complaints and psychological stress.
Questionnaires; Mental-processes; Job-stress; Psychophysiology; Mental-stress; Occupational-health; Simulation-methods
Salvendy G; Sauter SL; Hurrell JJ Jr.
Social, ergonomic and stress aspects of work with computers, proceedings of the Second International Conference on Human/Computer Interaction, August 10-14, 1987, Honolulu, Hawaii
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division