Relations between mental workload and decision-making in an organizational setting
Soria-Oliver, María (1)
López, Jorge S.
Torrano, Fermín (1)
Tipo de Ítem:Articulo Revista Indexada
Background: The complexity of current organizations implies a potential overload for workers. For this reason, it is of interest to study the effects that mental workload has on the performance of complex tasks in professional settings. Objective: The objective of this study is to empirically analyze the relation between the quality of decision-making, on the one hand, and the expected and real mental workload, on the other. Methods: The study uses an ex post facto prospective design with a sample of 176 professionals from a higher education organization. Expected mental workload (Pre-Task WL) and real mental workload (Post-Task WL) were measured with the unweighted NASA-Task Load Index (NASA-TLX) questionnaire; difference between real WL and expected WL (Differential WL) was also calculated; quality of decision-making was measured by means of the Decision-Making Questionnaire. Results: General quality of decision-making and Pre-Task WL relation is compatible with an inverted U pattern, with slight variations depending on the specific dimension of decision-making that is considered. There were no verifiable relations between Post-Task WL and decision-making. The subjects whose expected WL matched the real WL showed worse quality in decision-making than subjects with high or low Differential WL. Conclusions: The relations between mental workload and decision-making reveal a complex pattern, with evidence of nonlinear relations.
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