The multitasking framework: the effects of increasing workload on acute psychobiological stress reactivity

Wetherell, Mark and Carter, Kirsty (2014) The multitasking framework: the effects of increasing workload on acute psychobiological stress reactivity. Stress and Health, 30 (2). pp. 103-109. ISSN 1532-3005

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A variety of techniques exist for eliciting acute psychological stress in the laboratory; however, they vary in terms of their ease of use, reliability to elicit consistent responses and the extent to which they represent the stressors encountered in everyday life. There is, therefore, a need to develop simple laboratory techniques that reliably elicit psychobiological stress reactivity that are representative of the types of stressors encountered in everyday life. The multitasking framework is a performance-based, cognitively demanding stressor, representative of environments where individuals are required to attend and respond to several different stimuli simultaneously with varying levels of workload. Psychological (mood and perceived workload) and physiological (heart rate and blood pressure) stress reactivity was observed in response to a 15-min period of multitasking at different levels of workload intensity in a sample of 20 healthy participants. Multitasking stress elicited increases in heart rate and blood pressure, and increased workload intensity elicited dose–response increases in levels of perceived workload and mood. As individuals rarely attend to single tasks in real life, the multitasking framework provides an alternative technique for modelling acute stress and workload in the laboratory.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Published online first.
Uncontrolled Keywords: stress, multitasking framework, psychobiological stress reactivity, workload demand, mood, cardiovascular reactivity
Subjects: C800 Psychology
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Psychology
Depositing User: Ay Okpokam
Date Deposited: 03 Jul 2013 15:49
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2017 17:28

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