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Appel à contributions pour un numéro spécial du Travail Humain sur la charge mentale

Posté par : Corinne Grusenmeyer,
le 05 Juillet 2018

Tutorials in Quantitative Methods for Psychology

CALL FOR PAPERS - Special Issue

The Tutorials in quantitative Methods for Psychology Journal
and J. Albentosa & L. Chanquoy (guest editors)
invite authors to participate to the Special Issue entitled :
« Suitable measurements of mental workload depending on its dimensions »


Dr. Julie Albentosa
, researcher at the French Armed Forces Research Biomedical Research Institute
and Pr. Lucile Chanquoy, professor at Université Côte d’Azur

The concept of mental workload has been studied for long in cognitive psychology and ergonomics, in areas such as driving, aeronautics, multimedia learning, memory ... It still remains a central concern, as mental workload is impacted in everyday life, in many activities that are in constant evolution, due to new technologies and the increase in automation. A high level of mental workload can have adverse consequences, by provoking overload and performance degradation. This can range from a failure to realize certain actions on a website to serious accidents in various areas (e.g., driving, air traffic control). Several theoretical models have been developed by researchers depending on the context of their study, in order to explain mental workload variations. It is thus shown that different elements of the situation (e.g., learning environment, situation complexity) and cognitive processes implied to perform the task (e.g., controlled vs. automatic processing) contribute to the variation of specific dimensions of mental workload (e.g., extraneous load, germane load, mental effort load). These variations can be measured in a variety of ways and each measurement has advantages and disadvantages.

Mental workload can be subjectively measured by questionnaires (e.g., SWAT, NASA-TLX), or objectively measured through physiological (e.g., mean heart rate, event-related potentials) and/or behavioural data (e.g., reaction time). Subjective measurements directly question the individual’s feeling and are relatively easily set up. Multidimensional scales have a good diagnosticity by identifying the changes in workload variations and the cause of these changes. However, inter-individual differences can appear, for example as a function of the motivation at the time during which the tests are fulfilled. Physiological indicators can relatively quickly identify mental workload variations in real time but are not sensitive only to differences in cognitive demands. Behavioural measurements of performance are objective and are realised in real time. Nevertheless, a slight increase in mental workload cannot be identified through the performance degradation which is only provoked by a high level of mental workload. The examples of the limits described above highlight the issue of mental workload measurement. How to choose the right measurements? Which measurements are the more suitable to assess the level of this or that mental workload dimension? Several measurements can be complementary and researchers increasingly combine several types of measurements (methodological triangulation) in order to enhance the data reliability and comprehension.

The aim of this special issue is to identify, through several recent studies, the suitable measurements of mental workload depending on its dimensions and on the underlying models. This will be useful to have a better vision of the advantages and limits of using certain measurements for specific mental workload dimensions, in order to better target the suitable indicators in future studies.

Instructions for authors :
The manuscript must respect The Quantitative Methods for Psychology guidelines:

Submission deadlines

- Manuscript submission: 21 September 2018 (submission
- First notification of acceptance/rejection: 24 December 2018
- Submitting the revised manuscript: 22 March 2018
- Final decision of acceptance: 14 June 2019


5e conférence internationale consacrée au bien-être au travail 22-24 mai 2019 Issy-Les-Moulineaux | Séminaire de la Commission "Nouvelles mobilités et déplacements : activité, vécus, prospective" d’ARPEGE le vendredi 13 juillet 2018