Stress Response Caused by System Response Time When Searching for Information on the Internet

By Trimmel, Michael; Meixner-Pendleton, Monika et al. | Human Factors, Winter 2003 | Go to article overview

Stress Response Caused by System Response Time When Searching for Information on the Internet


Trimmel, Michael, Meixner-Pendleton, Monika, Haring, Sandra, Human Factors


INTRODUCTION

The investigation of workplace and computer system characteristics interfering with performance and health is a major topic in human factors research. The field of industrial psychology has been concerned not only with effects of time pressure, heat, noise, and so forth on the worker's emotional and cognitive state, as well as performance, but also with effects of human-computer interaction (e.g., Boucsein, Greif, & Wittenkamp, 1984; Kuhmann, 1989; Kuhmann, Boucsein, Schaefer, & Alexander, 1987; Kuhmann, Schaefer, & Boucsein, 1990; Thum, Boucsein, & Kuhmann, 1995; Trimmel & Huber, 1998; Trimmel, Strassler, & Knerer, 2001). The impact of computer work on subjective occupational stress and health of on psychosomatic symptoms is well documented Johansson & Aronsson, 1984; Pot, Brouwers, & Padmos, 1986; Sauter, Gottlieb, Jones, Dodson, & Rohrer, 1983; Smith, Cohen, Stammerjohn, & Happ, 1981). Psychophysiological stress responses were also observed by Tanaka, Fukomoto, Yamamoto, and Noro (1988) and Gao et al.

(1990) during a simulated data entry task. Several experiments demonstrated that monotonous and repetitive computer work with restricted freedom of decision making led to increased occupational stress (e.g., Frankenhaeuser & Johansson, 1986; Lundberg & Forsman, 1979; Lundberg, Granqvist, Hansson, Magnusson, & Wallin, 1989; Lundberg, Mellin, Evans, & Holmberg, 1993).

One component of human-computer interaction contributing to stress is the system response time (SRT): the time between data input and system response. Some experiments have shown that system response times that are accompanied by uncertainty constitute a major source of stress in human-computer interaction (Shneiderman, 1987).

According to Berlyne (1960), uncertainty causes arousal, as demonstrated by Lovibond (1968), who showed that uncertainty led to unspecific arousal being perceived as aversive. Lovibond further demonstrated that certainty reduced feelings of aversion and also electrodermal responses. Katz and Wykes (1985) examined the effects of predictable and unpredictable electrical stimuli in 80 female participants and demonstrated that predictability reduced stress as measured by electrodermal activity.

Kuhmann et al. (1987) examined the effects of short (2-s) and long (8-s) system response times in a computerized working task. The participants had to perform a simple detection and correction task at a VDT in six trials, each lasting 20 min. Work speed, error rate, and other behavioral as well as psychological and psychophysiological measures were recorded. Concerning performance, results indicated that participants exposed to the long system response time had a lower mean error rate without any difference in working speed. On the physiological level, long SRT led to lower levels of systolic blood pressure and stronger skin conductance reactions. These results are discussed as differential effects of system response times on diverse indicators of stress.

Thum et al. (1995) varied load experimentally to compare the effect of load imposed by task difficulty with that caused by system response time. The authors concluded that both short and long SRTs induced stress. However, psychophysiological responses were attributed to SRT and not to task difficulty. Additionally, these reactions were intensified by the applied time pressure.

Stress caused by SRT in human-computer interaction during the search for information (particularly on the Internet) is a common occurrence and has implications for health and performance. Stress is seen as energy mobilization by negative emotions, over which the affected person has limited control, in contrast to mental load, in which the situation is perceived as challenging (Gaillard & Kramer, 2000). The psychological reason for stress is seen in the lack of control while waiting for the computer to respond. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Stress Response Caused by System Response Time When Searching for Information on the Internet
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.