Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Task Load

  • Molly E. ZimmermanEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_1256


Task allocation; Task demand; Workload


Task load is a measurement of human performance that broadly refers to the levels of difficulty an individual encounters when executing a task.

Current Knowledge

Cognitive task load, task demands, task allocation, and workload are similar terms frequently used in the disciplines of human factors or organizational psychology to model human behavior. According to Neerincx (2003), cognitive task load can be operationally defined as a function of three factors: time taken to perform a task, level of information processing, and number of task switches that occur in the context of task performance. Time denotes the amount of time that is allocated for task completion. Level of information processing comprises automatic processes (skills), routine problem-solving (rules), and the more complex analysis of information to generate strategies (knowledge). Task switching occurs when components of a task have competing goals. Task load...

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References and Readings

  1. Neerincx, M. A. (2003). Cognitive task load analysis: Allocating tasks and designing support. In E. Hollnagel (Ed.), Handbook of cognitive task design (pp. 283–306). Hillsdale: Lawrence Erlbaum.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyFordham UniversityBronxUSA