Whither Workload? Mapping a Path for Its Future Development

  • P. A. Hancock
Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 726)


I present a number of looming barriers to a smooth path of progress for cognitive workload assessment. The first of these is the AID’s of workload (i.e., association, indifference, and dissociation) between its various reflections (i.e., subjective, physiological, and performance measures). The second is the manner in which the time-varying change in imposed task demand links to the workload response, and what specific characteristics of the former drive the latter. The third is the persistent but largely unaddressed issue of the meaningfulness of the work undertaken. Thus, does interesting and involving work result in lower workload and vice-versa? If these foregoing and predominantly methodological concerns can be overcome, then the utility of the workload construct can continue to grow. If they cannot be resolved then workload assessment threatens to be ineffective in a world which desperately requires a valid and reliable way to index cognitive achievement.


Cognitive workload Neuropsychological assessment Future challenges 



I am grateful to the organizers of the meeting for permitting me this opportunity and especially professor Luca Longo for his helpful and insightful suggestions on an earlier version of the present work. I am also indebted to Dr. Lauren Reinerman-Jones, and the UMPIREE Project for the support in order to consider a number of these conceptual problems.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychology, and Institute for Simulation and TrainingUniversity of Central FloridaOrlandoUSA

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