Human Mental Workload: A Survey and a Novel Inclusive Definition

Luca Longo, Christoper D. Wickens, Peter A. Hancock, Gabriela M. Hancock
2022 Frontiers in Psychology  
Human mental workload is arguably the most invoked multidimensional construct in Human Factors and Ergonomics, getting momentum also in Neuroscience and Neuroergonomics. Uncertainties exist in its characterization, motivating the design and development of computational models, thus recently and actively receiving support from the discipline of Computer Science. However, its role in human performance prediction is assured. This work is aimed at providing a synthesis of the current state of the
more » ... t in human mental workload assessment through considerations, definitions, measurement techniques as well as applications, Findings suggest that, despite an increasing number of associated research works, a single, reliable and generally applicable framework for mental workload research does not yet appear fully established. One reason for this gap is the existence of a wide swath of operational definitions, built upon different theoretical assumptions which are rarely examined collectively. A second reason is that the three main classes of measures, which are self-report, task performance, and physiological indices, have been used in isolation or in pairs, but more rarely in conjunction all together. Multiple definitions complement each another and we propose a novel inclusive definition of mental workload to support the next generation of empirical-based research. Similarly, by comprehensively employing physiological, task-performance, and self-report measures, more robust assessments of mental workload can be achieved.
doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2022.883321 pmid:35719509 pmcid:PMC9201728 fatcat:xyhpnyik7bh5zfcq2ye5kcyyt4