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Why is it so Hard to do My Work? The Challenge of Attention Residue when Switching Between Work Tasks

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Abstract

In many jobs, employees must manage multiple projects or tasks at the same time. A typical workday often entails switching between several work activities, including projects, tasks, and meetings. This paper explores how such work design affects individual performance by focusing on the challenge of switching attention from one task to another. As revealed by two experiments, people need to stop thinking about one task in order to fully transition their attention and perform well on another. Yet, results indicate it is difficult for people to transition their attention away from an unfinished task and their subsequent task performance suffers. Being able to finish one task before switching to another is, however, not enough to enable effective task transitions. Time pressure while finishing a prior task is needed to disengage from the first task and thus move to the next task and it contributes to higher performance on the next task.

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... 2,143) and also by Matthews et al. (2010) who found that frequent transitions can cause employees to experience increased work-family conflict (WFC). Hamilton et al. (2011) and Leroy (2009) also found frequent attention switching and multitasking to be cognitively effortful and therefore concluded that role transitioning caused depletion. Becker et al. (2018) argue that employees' well-being diminishes because of the frequent micro-transitions caused by work-related electronic communication after-hours that made them feel an obligation to shift roles in their non-work time. ...
... After observing Stacy working and managing brand accounts on multiple social media platforms, whilst interchangeably replying to personal messages and sourcing information to answer some of these messages elsewhere, I probed her on how she felt this multitasking affected their WLB. This challenges what we already know about navigating social media and other digital spaces because the literature has led us to think that although the online world creates the ability to multitask it is usually associated with being at a cost of being cognitively effortful and a cause for WLC (Hamilton et al., 2011;Leroy, 2009). It has also been previously said that meeting the demands from several roles at once creates a conflict for users too (Olson-Buchanan and Boswell, 2006) which can lead to negative outcomes on WLB (Maier et al., 2015;Oh and Park, 2016;Turel et al., 2011). ...
... After shadowing Brittney for two days I asked about how she juggles her multiple demands noticing that she receives lots of notifications throughout the day. (Hamilton et al., 2011;Leroy, 2009;Matthews et al., 2010;Smit et al., 2016). It could be said then that familiarity and experience of the different tone of voices across these digital virtual spaces for this group, made crossing DVBs easier for them and is why they did not report conflict with switching. ...
Thesis
Technology has been criticised for blurring boundaries and making them more permeable, which has been previously portrayed as having a negative impact on work-life balance (WLB) and a cause for burnout among employees. With burnout a growing concern for organisations and governments, this thesis uses a boundary theory lens to explore the effects of technology on WLB. To improve understanding in this area, social media practitioners (SMPs) were selected as the sample to study because it could be said they are extensive users of technology and social media. Studying this group as an “extreme case” produces learnings and practices that could be applied to the rest of the social media industry and the digital workforce. Informed by a constructivist grounded theory (CGT) approach, this thesis draws from in-depth interviews with thirty-one UK SMPs and observation of an additional five SMPs, in their place of work, to investigate the role technology plays in managing boundaries between work and non-work and maintaining perceived WLB. Presented in this document are four contributions. Firstly, this thesis turns its attention to the boundaries in the digital landscape. I introduce the new term digital virtual boundary (DVB) and acknowledge how these differ from their analogue counterpart and what this means for how we manage our boundaries. This research also recognises how Clark’s (2000) “borderland” can assist role demand management and WLB when a user is within a digital virtual space. Secondly, this thesis presents a typology of new digital boundary preference groups that recognise the impact technology has on SMPs boundary preference and management. For each group, characteristics are defined so that one can identify and align themselves with the most suitable group to assist them in their boundary management style. Thirdly, technological strategies and tactics shared by my participants are listed in this thesis as a means of practices that can be adopted by others to aid them in their boundary management and technology use, to avoid burnout and maintain their ideal WLB. Lastly, the unique data collection method for this area of work, although growing in use for boundary theory, is the first time to my knowledge it has been applied to the WLB literature. Unlike its earlier counterpart grounded theory (GT), CGT places priority on the studied phenomenon over the methods of studying it and acknowledges the researcher's role in interpreting data and creating categories. This research contributes to the WLB literature and boundary theory by providing a better understanding of how employees in digital facing roles manage their boundaries and avoid burnout whilst extensively using technology. It must be noted that the data presented in this research was collected and analysed in 2019 prior to the outbreak of COVID-19. This had a significant impact not only on the way in which people work and interact with technology, but the national lockdowns have meant the majority of those employed were forced to work from home. This means now more than ever workers have undoubtedly thought about their WLB and how they manage their boundaries. This work could be of significant benefit to individuals learning to align appropriate strategies to their boundary preference.<br/
... The project thoroughly reviewed a groundbreaking dissertation on attention residue as a result of task switching and its subsequent report in an academic journal in organizational psychology. The studies conducted in this dissertation and journal report explain the types of issues that arise from task switching and describe how time pressure plays a role in disconnecting attention from one task to the next (Leroy, 2007(Leroy, , 2009). The author found that limiting the amount of time available to think attentively on a task to the point of being rushed alleviates attention residue. ...
... The author found that limiting the amount of time available to think attentively on a task to the point of being rushed alleviates attention residue. Conversely, the author found that when attention residue 219 from task 1 is present, increased time between task 1 and task 2 helps to relieve attention residue carryover from the first to the second task (Leroy, 2007(Leroy, , 2009. ...
... The consequences of task switching on attention highlight the ability to limit the effects of task switching and the demands on executive function (Brand, 2007). Additionally, there have been studies on affective methods in reducing attention residue from task switching in the genres of organizational psychology and cognitive neuroscience (Dreher, et al., 2001;Leroy, 2007Leroy, , 2009Wylie, Javitt, Foxe, 2004). ...
Article
This article researches the carryover of attention when switching from one task to the next. This is known as attention residue. The primary foci of this paper is to determine the role attention residue plays in learning and working environments, what causes attention residue, and what is understood to help alleviate the negative effects. While much research has been done on multi-tasking, attention residue is different in that tasks are not taking place at the same time, but in sequential order. The study focuses on adolescents and adults with specific attention on university students. This project reviewed literature from psychology, neuroscience and education with primary sources coming from psychology and neuroscience. The findings of the study reveal many negative effects on tasks following previous tasks when attention is carried over from a previous task. This article also discusses studies that have argued to be both effective and ineffective methods of alleviating attention residue. brought to you by CORE View metadata, citation and similar papers at core.ac.uk provided by Asia University Academic Repositories 216 Attention Residue: An Inquiry into Attention Carryover from One Task to the Next in University Students This project investigates the carryover of attention from one task to the next. The goals are to first better understand the reasons and science behind this carryover of attention and to find methods to alleviate attention remaining in working memory from the first task so that more attention can be placed on the current task at hand. The age groups primarily focused on will be adolescents and adults. This study is to be used as a foundation in preparation for further research on the effect attention carryover from task switching has on adult English language learning students. If a negative effect is discovered, this will be followed by further research on what methods are and are not effective in alleviating attention carryover in adult English language learners.
... Although PUTW can replenish employees' executive attention, the attention replenishment effect can be attenuated by the task-switching cost when employees switch their attention from PUTW to job tasks. Switching attention from one task or activity (e.g., PUTW) to another (e.g., a job task) tends to be difficult, and the subsequent task performance can easily suffer because of the switching cost (Leroy, 2009). We suggest that the task-switching cost between PUTW and job tasks can be understood from two complementary perspectives: task-set inertia and information loss. ...
... Because individuals' cognitive resources are limited at a certain time (Eriksen & James, 1986;Wickens, 1976), the individuals are barely able to focus simultaneously on multiple tasks (Beal et al., 2005); therefore, task-set reconfiguration is needed when switching between tasks (Rogers & Monsell, 1995). However, task-set reconfiguration is sometimes not easy because of taskset inertia (Alport et al., 1994;Leroy, 2009), which can result in a task-switching cost in the form of extra time and attentional resources that individuals need to complete the switched task (Hsieh & Liu, 2005;Wylie & Allport, 2000). The task-switching cost can be substantial, even if the tasks are simple (Kiesel et al., 2010). ...
... The reason is that employees need to restore and recall more information if they are interrupted when they are in a high concentration state, which can result in more information loss. In the PUTW context, employees often perform multiple tasks every day (Leroy, 2009). As a result, employees may engage in PUTW during their performance of a particular task (i.e., within-task PUTW, such as chatting online about a weekend party while writing a report). ...
Article
Employee personal use of technology at work (PUTW) – defined as employees’ activities using organisational or personal IT resources for non-work-related purposes while at work – is increasingly common. Our review of existing PUTW studies (n = 137) suggests that previous studies widely discussed PUTW outcomes, antecedents, and policies. The literature review also indicates that previous studies proposed opposing viewpoints regarding the effect of PUTW on employee job performance, but few studies offered empirical evidence. Consequently, the conditions under which PUTW can increase or decrease employee job performance have not been discussed. We develop a theoretical model for increasing the understanding of this issue. Our model suggests that executive attention is an important underlying mechanism through which PUTW affects employee job performance. We further suggest the effect of PUTW on executive attention (and job performance) depends on PUTW behavioural characteristics in terms of four dimensions: PUTW cognitive load, PUTW arousal level, PUTW timing, and PUTW frequency/duration. The model can advance researchers’ understanding of the possible conditions under which PUTW may increase or decrease employee job performance. The model also offers new insights into existing studies on PUTW antecedents and policies. As a result, our proposed model provides new theoretical guidance for future studies on PUTW.
... Some studies have combined behavioural observation and brain activity (measured with electroencephalography-EEG, or functional near-infrared spectroscopy-fNIRS), and have shown reduced activation in prefrontal and motor brain regions after one hour of work on repetitious assembly tasks (such as in 'assembly line' work), suggesting attentional decrease [6][7][8]. Other studies have revealed the difficulty of switching attention between tasks or showing fragmentation of attention (i.e., fragmentation of attention: pattern of attention related to the ability to shift attention from one stimulus to another and to the frequency with which a subject pay attention to a particular stimulus [9]) between multiple tasks (e.g., talking to a client while writing an email to another person, managing transition among different projects, [10]). But, long-term training in managing multiple tasks has been shown to improve cognitive processing. ...
... Although, it is impossible at that stage to eliminate the hypothesis of an active choice by riders of animals presenting attention characteristics adjusted for the type of work they were used for, it seems more likely that the individual differences observed may result from external factors. One other complementary explanation therefore could be that the work demands on cognitive processes such as attention differs between disciplines, as observed in humans [7,10] and other animals [16,17]. Our results converge with those on human sports athletes. ...
Article
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Attention is a central process of cognition and influences the execution of daily tasks. In humans, different types of work require different attentional skills and sport performance is associated with the ability to attention shift. Attention towards humans varies in dogs used for different types of work. Whether this variation is due to the recruitment of individuals suitable for specific types of work, or to the characteristics of the work, remains unclear. In the present study, we hypothesized that domestic horses ( Equus caballus ) trained for different types of work would also demonstrate different attentional characteristics but we also explored other possible factors of influence such as age, sex and breed. We exposed more than sixty horses, working in 4 different disciplines, and living in two types of housing conditions, to a visual attention test (VAT) performed in the home environment. Individual attentional characteristics in the test were not significantly influenced by age, sex, breed or conditions of life but were strongly related to the type of work. Riding school horses showed longer sequences and less fragmented attention than all other horses, including sport horses living in the same conditions. Interestingly, sport performance was correlated with attention fragmentation during the test in eventing horses, which may need more attention shifting during the competitions. Working conditions may influence attention characteristics indirectly through welfare, or directly through selection and training. Our study opens new lines of thought on the determinants of animal cognition and its plasticity and constitutes a further step towards understanding the interrelationship between working conditions and cognition.
... Researchers found students study on task an average of five to six minutes before switching to a technological distraction (Rosen et al., 2013). It is likely that technology distractions contribute to attention residue (i.e., lingering cognitive activity impairing performance) when students switch between schoolwork and their devices (Leroy, 2009). ...
... Additional studies find student grades suffer when they multitask with personal technology because it distracts them (Barks et al., 2011;Kuznekoff & Titsworth, 2013;Martin, 2011;Sana et al., 2013;Wood et al., 2012). Personal device use also challenges students' ability to maintain attention while studying (Rosen et al., 2013), and when students shift attention between schoolwork and technology use, cognitive ability may be impaired and hinder academic performance (Leroy, 2009). Prior research suggests free access to personal technology will impede focused, sustained attention. ...
Article
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College instructors desiring classrooms free from learning distractions often enforce personal-technology-use policies to create what they think is an optimal learning environment, but students tend not to favor restrictive personal technology policies. Which type of personal technology classroom environment maximizes student satisfaction, learning, and attention? We surveyed 280 business communications students in two types of classrooms: a personal technology-restricted environment and a free-use environment. We evaluated student perceptions of cognitive learning, sustained attention, and satisfaction with the course as well as the technology policy governing their classrooms. Students believed they achieved greater cognitive learning in non-restricted personal technology classrooms and perceived no significant difference in sustained attention. Although students may be more satisfied with a free personal-technology-use policy in the classroom, overall satisfaction with the course did not significantly differ according to the classroom environment. We discuss the importance of sustained attention and policy satisfaction for enhancing student course satisfaction in classrooms with both technology policy types.
... Thus, it is difficult to stop thinking about a task when completion of that task is hindered. Similarly, Leroy (2009) suggest that attention residuei.e., cognitions about an initial task -can occur when employees transition from one task to the other. As a result, performance on the second task can be impaired (Leroy 2009). ...
... Similarly, Leroy (2009) suggest that attention residuei.e., cognitions about an initial task -can occur when employees transition from one task to the other. As a result, performance on the second task can be impaired (Leroy 2009). Thus, we propose that being intruded upon means that the initial task is unfinished which requires additional attentional resources to start focusing on, and remain focused on, the secondary task (intrusion). ...
Article
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While common in many workplaces, intrusions –i.e., interruptions in task progress while engaged in a task – have not been well studied yet. Building on conservation of resources theory and the job demands-resources model, we examined relationships between intrusions, increased fatigue, and decreased perceived job performance. Three pilot studies were conducted to develop a survey measure of intrusions and to establish its psychometric properties. The main study examined relationships between intrusions at the beginning of the workweek and fatigue and perceived job performance over the course of the week. Results indicate that intrusions on Monday were indirectly related to increased fatigue on Thursday through increased fatigue on Tuesday and Wednesday. Results were not significant for perceived job performance. The results highlight the relevance of intrusions at work for employee experiences beyond the day on which they occur pointing to a loss of individual resources over the course of the workweek.
... We also found that subjective impressions of timing matter. Given that laboratory experiments have found that interruptions are experienced as more or less annoying depending on how much attention people are paying to something when they are interrupted (Adamczyk & Bailey, 2004;Iqbal & Bailey, 2005;Leroy, 2009;Leroy & Schmidt, 2016), our conclusions about timing are not entirely surprising. However, our study extends and deepens understanding about interruption timing. ...
... Our findings about work context also enrich the interruptions literature. Whereas prior interruptions research has considered mental workload and cognitive load (e.g., Leroy, 2009;Tams et al., 2015) the mental resources in use at a given moment in time (Kanfer & Ackerman, 1989;Wickens, Lee, Liu, & Becker, 2004)-as moderators, our study surfaces that perceptions of overall workload (e.g., number of current projects, upcoming deadlines) influence interruptees' experiences. Furthermore, while previous studies have shown that aggregated interruptions can, over time, increase feelings of overload and time pressure (e.g., Kirmeyer, 1988;Perlow, 1999), we find that overall workload influences how people experience discrete interruptions as they arise. ...
Article
Work interruptions are now ubiquitous in organizational life. However, our knowledge about how individuals experience work interruptions remains incomplete. Prior research has linked work interruption events to negative emotions, but scholars have yet to consider if—and when—such events might generate positive emotions. To explore this possibility, we adopted a temporal lens. Conceptualizing interruptions as emotionally charged events that involve changes to people’s time use, we conducted a qualitative field study of 251 work interruptions. Our inductive analysis revealed that many interruptions are experienced positively rather than negatively and that some are experienced neutrally (i.e., with no emotion). We found that this variation can be explained, in part, by four subjective temporal perceptions: time worthiness, timing, duration, and task expectedness. We also identified two contextual factors— relational context and work context—that moderate the effects of these temporal perceptions. Overall, our study underscores that emotional experiences of work interruptions vary far more widely that prior research suggests, identifies subjective temporal perceptions as key drivers of differing interruption experiences, and adds contextual richness to theories of interruptions.
... Dividing attention requires additional expenditures of mental resources and can lead to cognitive fatigue when experienced frequently (e.g. Leroy, 2009). ...
... A dividing of attention requires additional expenditures of mental resources and can lead to cognitive fatigue when experienced frequently (e.g. Leroy, 2009). Further, expenditure of cognitive resources because of the process of stress appraisal itself has been suggested (cf. ...
Thesis
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Poor work privacy represents a frequently reported issue in open office environments, yet relatively little is known about its consequences. In addition, prior research has limitations including weak operationalisations and measures of privacy. Therefore, this thesis developed a new work privacy measure and examined the adverse effects of poor work privacy on workers’ well-being. The roles of coping appraisal and contextual factors in this relationship were explored to inform future preventative steps. Study 1 (n = 30) qualitatively explored different scenarios of poor work privacy in an open-plan office context for the development of a new measure of privacy fit. Three dimensions of poor work privacy have been identified: acoustical and visual stimulation, interruptions, and confidentiality. Study 2 quantitatively tested (2.A n = 195) and confirmed (2.B n = 109) the factor structure of the new privacy fit measure in two open-plan office worker samples. Four dimensions were identified: conversation confidentiality, task confidentiality, visual/acoustical stimulation, and interruptions. The measure concluded with 12 items, good model fit, reliability, and construct validity. Study 3 (n = 220) employed the newly developed measure and quantitatively examined stress-related consequences of poor privacy fit in an open-plan office worker sample. Poor privacy fit was associated with dissatisfaction, stress, and fatigue. Coping appraisal was found to mediate these relationships. Study 4 (n = 61) quantitatively demonstrated in a longitudinal study that a move to an activity-based office influenced workers’ privacy fit, coping appraisal, and stress-related outcomes (satisfaction, stress, and fatigue). Study 5 (n = 22) qualitatively explored contextual factors in the activity-based office that support or hinder privacy fit. Four factors were identified: the physical environment (e.g. variety of settings) and the social environment (e.g. social norms), the job (e.g. role conflict), and the self (e.g. self-awareness). This thesis developed a new measure of work privacy and confirmed that privacy fit has an impact on workers’ well-being. The thesis demonstrated the methodological benefit of considering individuals’ appraisal, and the importance of contextual factors in privacy regulation.
... Self-regulatory processes likewise underlie NWRR (Diamond, 2013;Hamilton et al., 2011;Leroy & Schmidt, 2016;Muraven & Baumeister, 2000). While a deep discussion of these theories is space prohibitive, we take the position that individuals vary in executive control resources that help them exert self-control in the face of adverse conditions such as external stimuli that lure attention (e.g., messages from a manager) or create attentional residue (when thoughts about one task persist and intrude while performing another; Leroy, 2009). The idea that individuals differ in the degree to which they can navigate these attentional challenges is supported by Hamilton et al. (2011), who found "that switching mindsets is an executive function that consumes selfregulatory resources and therefore renders people relatively unsuccessful in their self-regulatory endeavors" (p. ...
... These results build on Hamilton et al.'s (2011) research by showing that there are beneficial effects to being able to shift not only mindsets but also behaviors when trying to accommodate work-related intrusions during personal time. Our findings also expand attention residue theory (Leroy, 2009), which focused on how attention residue from different work tasks within the work domain negatively affects work performance (Leroy & Schmidt, 2016). We showed that a reduction of attention residue from work tasks intruding into nonwork domains benefits employee well-being. ...
Article
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As employees’ personal lives are increasingly splintered by work demands, the boundary between work and nonwork domains is becoming ever more blurred. Grounded within a self-regulatory approach and the executive control function of inhibitory control, we operationalize and examine nonwork role re-engagement (NWRR)—the extent to which individuals can redirect attentional resources back to nonwork tasks following work-related intrusions. In phases 1 and 2, we develop and refine a psychometrically sound unidimensional measure for NWRR aligned with the self-regulatory processes of self-control and interference control underlying inhibitory control. In phase 3, we confirm the factor structure with a new sample. In phase 4 we validate the measure using the samples from phases 2 and 3 to provide evidence of criterion-related, convergent, and discriminant validity. NWRR was related to important well-being and work-related outcomes above and beyond existing self-regulatory and boundary management constructs. We offer theoretical and practical implications and an agenda to guide future research, as attentional agility becomes increasingly relevant in a home life replete with interruptions from work.
... interruptions) not only hinder the task at hand but direct the individual's attention to a new, interrupting task or demand. The research on interruptions finds that when individuals must switch to the new (interrupting) task, their performance and satisfaction with the new task suffer because it is difficult for individuals to entirely cognitively abandon the primary task and fully focus on the new task (Leroy, 2009). Furthermore, even rejecting or postponing the interrupting task can potentially relate to dissatisfaction in the other (interrupting) domain, as the interruption itself is indicative of an unexpected or unplanned demand arising, thus increasing the number of tasks the individual has to tackle (Baethge & Rigotti, 2013;Keller et al., 2020). ...
... Hunter et al., 2019). Based on previous literature on interruptions, namely, that switching to the interrupting task leaves individuals dissatisfied with the new task as well (Leroy, 2009), we assumed that individuals would also experience dissatisfaction in the interrupting domain (cross-domain effects). However, our results do not unequivocally support this notion. ...
Article
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During the COVID-19 pandemic, an unprecedented number of employees faced the challenges of telework. However, the current literature has a limited understanding of the implications of employees’ obligated home-based telework and their satisfaction with the work and home domains. We use boundary theory to examine work and home boundary violations in relation to satisfaction with domain investment in two daily diary studies, examining both domain-specific and cross-domain effects. In addition, we examine the moderating role of segmentation preferences in both studies and investigate the mediating role of work- and home-related unfinished tasks in Study 2. Both studies provide empirical evidence of the domain-specific relationship between boundary violations and domain satisfaction and provide limited support for cross-domain effects. Neither study finds support for the notion that segmentation preferences moderates the relationship between boundary violations and domain satisfaction. Finally, the results of Study 2 highlight the importance of unfinished tasks in the relationship between boundary violations and domain satisfaction. Specifically, work and home boundary violations relate to an increase in unfinished tasks in both domains. Finally, the indirect effects suggest that home-related unfinished tasks may be detrimental to satisfaction in both domains, while work-related unfinished tasks may be detrimental for work-related, but not home-related, satisfaction.
... When employees detach from nonwork matters, they do not allow thoughts and feelings related to off-the-job issues to interfere with emotional and cognitive functioning in the work domain (e.g., Sonnentag & Fritz, 2007. Without such detachment, people are more likely to ruminate on unfinished matters from home when they begin work (e.g., Leroy, 2009;Syrek & Antoni, 2014). Indeed, research suggests that outside matters that have not been properly disposed consume cognitive resources as the mind scans for opportunities to complete these tasks (Moskowitz, 2002;Zeigarnik, 1938). ...
... DAILY ENGAGEMENT AND PRODUCTIVITY needed for immediate functioning in the domain being entered (Moskowitz, 2002;Zeigarnik, 1938). In our case, unfinished tasks, projects, or conversations from home may draw attentional resources away from work matters (Leroy, 2009;Syrek & Antoni, 2014), thereby reducing the speed at which an employee can engage in their workday. Thus, employees who are able to dispose of home concerns-even temporarily-should be better able to channel their energies and resources toward work. ...
Article
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People often drag their feet getting started at work each morning, with a rather unclear sense of the implications on their daily productivity. Drawing on boundary transitions theory as a conceptual lens, we introduce and investigate the concept of the speed of engagement-the quickness with which an employee becomes focused and energized upon beginning work. We explore the productivity implications of this phenomenon, as well as the psychological processes people use to capitalize on a quick transition to work. Two experience sampling field studies-one of which featured a within-person field experiment testing the efficacy of two interventions we designed for use on employees' smartphones-support our theorizing. Our findings highlight the importance of the speed of engagement-over and above the level of engagement-for daily productivity levels. They also reveal that simple proactive steps to psychologically disengage from home or reattach to work increase the speed of engagement and lead to more productive days at work. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).
... • Email may prompt multi-tasking which is antithetical to performance and productivity [30,31], as well as to deliberate, uninterrupted concentration needed to master challenging tasks [32][33][34]. ...
... • "Attentional residue" between switching focus from one job demand to another suggests that multi-tasking may erode work quality [31,88,89]. ...
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Background: There is a need to unpack the empirical, practical, and personal challenges within participatory approaches advocated to optimize implementation. The unpredictable, chaotic nature of participatory approaches complicates application of implementation theories, methods, and strategies which do not address researchers' situatedness within participatory processes. As an implementation scientist, addressing one's own situatedness through critical reflection is important to unearth how conscious and unconscious approaches, including ontological and epistemological underpinnings, influence the participatory context, process, and outcomes. Therefore, the aim of this exploratory work is to investigate the heretofore blind spot toward the lived experience of implementation researchers within the participatory process. Methods: We developed an integrated research-practice partnership (IRPP) to inform the implementation of a gestational weight gain (GWG) control program. Within this IRPP, one investigator conducted a 12-month autoethnography. Data collection and triangulation included field notes, cultural artifacts, and systematic timeline tracking. Data analysis included ethnographic-theoretical dialogue and restorying to synthesize key events and epiphanies into a narrative. Results: Analysis revealed the unpredicted evolution of the GWG program into a maternal health fair and three themes within the researchers' lived experience: (1) permeable work boundaries, (2) individual and collective blind spots toward the ontological and epistemological underpinnings of implementation paradigms, and (3) maladaptive behaviors seemingly reinforced by the research culture. These themes contributed to the chaos of implementation and to researchers' experience of inadequate recovery from cognitive, emotional, and practical demands. These themes also demonstrated the importance of contextual factors, subjectivity, and value-based judgments within implementation research. Conclusion: Building on extant qualitative research guidelines, we suggest that researchers anchor their approach to implementation in reflexivity, intentionally and iteratively reflecting on their own situatedness. Through this autoethnography, we have elucidated several strategies based on critical reflection including examining philosophical underpinnings of research, adopting restorative practices that align with one's values, and embracing personal presence as a foundation of scientific productivity. Within the predominant (post-) positivism paradigms, autoethnography may be criticized as unscientifically subjective or self-indulgent. However, this work demonstrates that autoethnography is a vehicle for third-person observation and first-person critical reflection that is transformative in understanding and optimizing implementation contexts, processes, and outcomes.
... Meanwhile, portfolio characteristics-including network intensity, iteration intensity, and resource contention-often necessitate different priority rules (Browning & Yassine 2016). Research also notes concurrently leading multiple projects causes leaders to switch tasks and activities when changing projects, which costs more time and energy (Leroy 2009). Efficiency suffers as task-switching employees often make suboptimal timing decisions, ignoring organization priority rules under the pressure of work monitoring (Bendoly, Swink, & Simpson 2014). ...
... When coordination across projects demands more time and attention from PIs, they lose cognitive capacity that could be used for multidisciplinary project learning. Further, because PIs in small firms do not have large teams to distribute tasks, PIs must frequently switch tasks on their own when concurrently conducting multiple projects, which costs more time and energy (Leroy 2009). Moreover, given the complexity of projects with increased knowledge scope, PIs struggle even more in deciding the optimal priority rule, or which project deserves the most time and energy (Bendoly et al. 2014), which can delay the entire system and reduce likelihood of success (Browning & Yassine 2016). ...
Article
R&D projects in small biotechnology firms frequently involve knowledge from multiple technical fields and research in different problem domains. An increase in project knowledge scope, defined as the number of technical fields an R&D project covers, can be challenging for resource‐constrained small firms. These firms often rely primarily on their principal investigators (PIs), who act as heavyweight project managers in guiding project ideas to successful R&D outcomes. PIs also work concurrently on multiple projects, a strategy to promote learning across projects. To better understand how small firms PIs manage projects with high knowledge scope, our research assembles and analyzes a data set of 1,374 R&D projects conducted by 933 small firms in the context of U.S. Small Business Administration awards. Results, after accounting for endogeneity, suggest a negative association between project knowledge scope and project success, which we measured using patent forward citation counts. We also find that a PI's multi‐project status negatively moderates (i.e., amplifies) this association, while project management experience positively moderates (i.e., weakens) it. A follow‐up post‐hoc analysis suggests that a shared problem domain is a key contingency for the moderation effects of both multi‐project status and project management experience. Taken together, our research offers insights on how to effectively manage R&D projects in resource‐constrained small firms. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved
... Haasteita voivat aiheuttaa esimerkiksi kognitiivisesti kuormittavat ja tehtävistä suoriutumiseen heijastuvat keskeytykset (interruptions, Leroy ja Glomb 2018, 381; Wajcman ja Rose 2011) tai useiden asioi den yhtäaikainen tekeminen eli monisuorittaminen (multitasking, esim. Leroy 2009). ...
... Keskeytysten ohella yleinen viestintäteknologioiden mahdollistama ilmiö on monisuorittaminen (esim. Leroy 2009;Stephens ja Davis 2009;Su ja Mark 2008) sekä siihen nivoutuva viestintävälineiden yhtäaikainen käyttö (multicommunication, esim. Cameron ym. ...
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Erilaisten viestintäteknologioiden käytöllä on keskeinen rooli tietotyöntekijöiden arjessa. Erityisesti etätyössä, kun yhteydenpito tapahtuu pääosin teknologia­ välitteisesti, yksittäiset työntekijät ovat enenevässä määrin vastuussa siitä, missä, miten ja milloin työtä tehdään. Viestintäteknologioiden käyttö tuo muka­naan monia mahdollisuuksia, mutta myös haasteita, sillä esimerkiksi keskeytyk­set, jatkuva tavoitettavuus ja monisuorittaminen voivat olla yhteydessä lisäänty­neeseen stressiin ja heijastua näin ollen hyvinvointiin. Onkin perusteltua kysyä, kuinka tietotyöntekijät hallitsevat viestintäteknologioiden käyttöään tehdäkseen siitä mahdollisimman tuloksellista ja tarkoituksenmukaista. Tässä integroivassa kirjallisuuskatsauksessa tarkastellaan viestintäteknologioiden käytön hallintaa toimijuuden näkökulmasta. Viestintäteknologioiden käytön hallinnalle muodos­ tetaan teoreettinen kehys yhdistämällä jäsennykset teknologiavälitteisestä viestintäkompetenssista, digitaalisesta osaamisesta ja medioiden hallinnasta sekä tarkastelemalla niihin liittyviä itsesäätelyn prosesseja. Katsauksessa kootaan tuo­retta viestintäteknologioiden käyttöä tarkastelevaa tutkimusta ja tarjotaan uusia käsitteellisiä työkaluja viestintäteknologioiden käytön hallinnan jäsentämiselle.
... Research has linked task interruptions to an increase in perceptions of demands (Bertolotti et al., 2015;Pachler et al., 2018;Zika-Viktorsson et al., 2006). Because individuals on multiple teams must frequently shift between the competing tasks associated with MTM, often occurring within the same workday (Finuf, 2020;Mark et al., 2005), the ensuing task and workflow interruptions associated with these shifts can increase the cognitive load of individuals with MTM (Leroy, 2009;Leroy & Schmidt, 2016). Hence, we expect that as MTM and the associated switching increases, employees' subsequent perceptions of demands will increase. ...
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To better understand the implications of multiple team membership (MTM) for employee well-being, we explored: (1) how MTM relates to stress and engagement; (2) demands as an underlying mediator; and (3) polychronicity and instrumental support as moderators. Participants who were full-time employees completed an online survey regarding their experiences with MTM. Results showed MTM predicted greater stress through increased demands, but individuals higher on polychronicity were less likely to experience these negative consequences. Interestingly, demands related positively to engagement, suggesting those associated with MTM may be beneficial (e.g., perceived as challenges rather than hindrances). Contrary to expectations, instrumental support did not buffer MTM’s relationship with demands. These findings expand the literatures on teams and employee well-being, and provide practical insights for organizations utilizing MTM structures.
... Although "interruptions" and "distractions" are often used interchangeably in daily life, they are different concepts (Boehm-Davis and Remington, 2009). An interruption usually requires some additional judgment, resulting in a complete suspension of ongoing tasks, while distractions occur when the primary task is not suspended (Leroy, 2009). Consequently, the findings of research on fatigue and distraction cannot be directly extended to interruption science. ...
Article
In a concurrent multitasking environment, performing many types of tasks increases task complexity, and working long hours makes a person susceptible to mental fatigue. Emerging technologies may lead to more task interruptions. This study examines the effects of task attributes and mental fatigue on interrupted task performance in a concurrent multitasking environment. Thirty-four participants performed the MATB-Ⅱ under eight conditions (two-level task interruption, two-level task complexity, two-level fatigue). The results revealed the significant interaction effects of interruption × task complexity and of interruption × fatigue state. The findings show that more time is required to return to a complex primary task, and there are differences among subtask types. Mental fatigue negatively affects primary task performance, workload, and the resumption lag after an interruption. The findings are explained by the increasing information cues needed to resume complex tasks and the negative effect of fatigue on memory activation.
... Our study contributes to the research on attentional focus (Beal et al., 2005;Leroy, 2009;Merlo et al., 2018) by introducing the concept of leisure thoughts as a special type of off-task thoughts. Leisure thoughts followed a quadratic time trend and the frequency of ToPLA was related to pleasant anticipation. ...
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During the working day, employees do not only think of their work but also occasionally of their upcoming leisure time. Accordingly, we introduce two constructs, namely thoughts of leisure time (ToLT) and thoughts of a planned leisure activity (ToPLA). We assumed that employees report more ToLT/ToPLA at the beginning and the end of the working day. We further hypothesized that employees with higher pleasant anticipation of a planned leisure activity generate more ToPLA. As leisure thoughts distract attention from work, we expected a negative relationship between ToLT/ToPLA and work engagement within one hour and across the working day. Regarding the subsequent hour, we assumed that when the leisure plan is positive/negative, the relationship between ToPLA and work engagement is positive/negative. We conducted an hourly online-survey across one working day (N = 89 employees, 438 measurement points). Our results revealed the expected time trend for ToLT/ToPLA and a positive relationship between pleasant anticipation and ToPLA. We further found negative relationships between ToPLA and work engagement (within one hour) and between ToLT and work engagement (across the day). Contrary to our expectations, for positive leisure plans, the relationship between ToPLA and work engagement in the subsequent hour was negative.
... By its very nature, multitasking requires extensive self-regulation: each time people move from one task to another, they must enact self-regulation to inhibit old task goals and strategies, which have become off-task, and activate goals and strategies relevant to the new task (Monsell, 2003;Vandierendonck et al., 2010). Heightened self-regulation demands are therefore an integral feature of multitasking (Leroy, 2009;Stankov et al., 1989). In this way, at least part of the reason why challenge stressors produce mental fatigue is because challenge stressors can encourage multitasking-and multitasking is an especially fatiguing behavior because it poses heightened demands for self-regulation. ...
Article
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To cope with ever-increasing work demands, people often turn to multitasking. Although it is known that multitasking harms objective task performance, we know relatively little about how multitasking influences subjective experience. In this article, we develop hypotheses about the subjective experience of multitasking. Namely, we hypothesize that people multitask more often in the presence of challenge stressors (like workload, responsibility, and time pressure), that multitasking is one of the reasons why challenge stressors produce feelings of mental fatigue, and that multitasking feels especially mentally fatiguing for people with fewer cognitive resources-as people with fewer cognitive resources paradoxically must use particularly resource-demanding self-regulation processes to multitask. Using an experience sampling design, in Study 1 (N = 248 participants; 5,191 responses), we find support for these hypotheses. Given the increasing prevalence of multitasking, we then ask what can be done to reduce its negative consequences. Drawing on recent findings that mindfulness training increases the efficacy of self-regulation, we hypothesize that mindfulness training will compensate for cognitive resources by empowering people with fewer cognitive resources to multitask without feeling mentally fatigued. Pairing experience sampling with a long-term mindfulness training, in Study 2 (N = 114 participants; 1,197 responses), we replicate our initial findings and extend them: multitasking feels mentally fatiguing for people with fewer cognitive resources in the control condition but not in the mindfulness training condition. Taken together, these findings shed new light on the interface of work design, self-regulation, and mental fatigue.
... On the other hand, when the number of teams increases from moderate to high, context switching also increases, making it harder to integrate new information (even if the pool of available information is richer), as employees will have less time to encode, integrate, and reflect on new information or skill development. As the number of teams increases, employees may need to refocus their attention on new team contexts more often, which further decreases their cognitive resources that could otherwise be used for learning purposes (Leroy, 2009;O'Leary et al., 2011). ...
Article
Based on a posttest-only control group design, we analyzed the efficiency of three group-level interventions (i.e., cognitive reframing, mood induction, and instrumental interventions) on the fairness perceptions of 198 participants in an assessment context. Each intervention was derived from a conceptual framework (Gilliland’s theory, Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy, Affect-as-Information Perspective), which was empirically validated. Although the results are not extremely encouraging, as between the three experimental groups and the control one (no intervention) there were not large statistical differences, our study still highlights that the assessors need to focus on the participants if they wish to increase their perceptions of fairness, not only over its formal elements. A series of limitations and future research directions are presented.
... On facing a work intrusion, employees need to unexpectedly suspend an ongoing task, switch attention from that task onto the intrusion, cognitively understand and attend to the intrusion (maybe even perform an alternative task), and then switch attention back to the original task (Altmann & Trafton, 2002). All this time, they may need to control distracting thoughts, potentially suppress thoughts related to the task they just suspended, and regulate behavior accordingly (e.g., Leroy, 2009). ...
Article
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Work intrusions—unexpected interruptions by other people that interrupt ongoing work, bringing it to a temporary halt—are common in today’s workplaces. Prior research has focused on the task-based aspect of work intrusions and largely cast intrusions as events that harm employee well-being in general, and job satisfaction in particular. We suggest that apart from their task-based aspect, work intrusions also involve a social aspect—interaction with the interrupter—that can have beneficial effects for interrupted employees’ well-being. Using self-regulation theory, we hypothesize that while work intrusions’ self-regulatory demands of switching tasks, addressing the intrusion, and resuming the original task can deplete self-regulatory resources, interaction with the interrupter can simultaneously fulfill one’s need for belongingness. Self-regulatory resource depletion and belongingness are hypothesized to mediate the negative and positive effects of work intrusions onto job satisfaction respectively, with belongingness further buffering the negative effect of self-regulatory resource depletion on job satisfaction. Results of our 3-week experience sampling study with 111 participants supported these hypotheses at the within-individual level, even as we included stress as an alternate mediator. Overall, by extending our focus onto the social component of work intrusions, and modeling the mechanisms that transmit the dark- and the bright-side effects of work intrusions onto job satisfaction simultaneously, we provide a balanced view of this workplace phenomenon. In the process, we challenge the consensus that work intrusions harm job satisfaction by explaining why and when intrusions may also boost job satisfaction, thus extending the recent research on work intrusions’ positive effects.
... trying to complete both tasks at once, but to instead focus solely on one task at a time (Leroy, 2009). Throughout my two-year tenure at Reinvention, I developed an ability to swiftly read and assess undergraduate submissions to the journal, something that has proven to help me in my candidature, as I am confident in transferring the same critical approach to both postgraduate journal articles and my own writing. ...
... Indeed, task switching leads to cognitively linger on the suspended task, which has been shown to affect performance on the interrupting task. (Leroy, 2009). When being interrupted by the addition task, the participants may be still cognitively thinking of the email task, which may have resulted in low accuracy. ...
Article
Introduction Interruptions are mostly related to negative outcomes and researchers already found that the complexity or the length of interruptions modulate their deleterious effect on performance. However, none of them investigated the effect of the pleasantness of interruptions. Objective The objective of the study is to evaluate the impact of the pleasantness on both the correct completion of the interrupting task and the time required to resume the primary task. Method We designed a realistic email searching primary task during which 46 participants were either not interrupted or interrupted by a simple math addition task during which a positive or a negative picture was progressively revealed. We then asked participants how pleasant they found the interrupting task and investigated the effects of perceived pleasantness both on the interrupting task and on resuming the primary task. Results Results showed that performance on the interrupting task was worst and the time to resume the primary task was longer when participants found the task very pleasant or very unpleasant. Performance in both tasks was the best when participants gave intermediate pleasantness judgments. The findings were independent of the valence and arousal of the pictures used to manipulate task pleasantness. Conclusion These results are discussed in light of empirical studies assessing the deleterious effects of emotions on cognition, and practical implications are proposed.
... Research has also shown that failures in pursuing career goals that do not involve tests, such as project discontinuance (Shepherd, Patzelt, & Wolfe, 2011), rejections for promotion (Lam & Schaubroeck, 2000), and perceiving one is failing to achieve career benchmarks (Creed, Wamelink, & Hu, 2015) can be a mentally and emotionally consuming concern. When important personal goals are unattained, the failure remains active in one's mind, particularly when one can later reverse the failure (LeRoy, 2009;Martin & Tesser, 1989). We refer to evidence of a discrepancy between expected and actual occupational progress, but which is potentially reversible through one's own efforts, as occupational progress failure. ...
Article
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We integrate theory and research about individuals’ responses to failures to develop a model in which occupational progress failures precipitate ruminative processes that limit the extent individuals subsequently act as informal leaders. Our first study, an experiment with a sample of advanced accounting students, found that manipulating poor performance on a simulated certification test promoted ruminative thoughts about the test, which were negatively related to peer ratings of informal leadership behavior during a subsequent task. A separate field study using a regression discontinuity design in a 14-week military training program found that failure to pass the required physical fitness examination early in group formation influenced psychosomatic symptoms, an indirect measure of sustained rumination, and consequently hindered enactment of informal leadership behavior. We also theorized and found that neuroticism enhanced the positive effect of failure on rumination in Study 1 and psychosomatic symptoms in Study 2. We discuss the implications for developing theories concerning how disruptive personal events may interfere with employees’ engaging in informal leadership behavior.
... Interest is widely considered to be a specific subtype of intrinsic motivation (Hidi, 2000;Renninger, 2000;Ryan & Deci, 2000), and among the various subtypes of intrinsic motivation, we view task interest as a particularly relevant outcome of playfully engaging with one's work tasks for several reasons. First, most work tasks require at least some degree of attention and intellectual engagement (Leroy, 2009), and the generation of interest involves an intellectual interaction between a person's existing knowledge and their current focus of attention (Renninger, 2000). ...
Thesis
This thesis contributes to our understanding of play-at-work activities' dimensionality and examines pathways to hedonic and instrumental outcomes rooted in the psychological experience of play behaviour at work. The concept of activity-based play-at-work is introduced, and findings from 122 studies are reviewed to produce a two-dimensional typology, integrated under an overarching energy-management framework. A psychometrically sound measure of play's psychological experience, playful engagement, is then developed. Finally, two empirical investigations using an experience-sampling methodology are employed to understand playful engagement's links to hedonic and instrumental outcomes in the presence of stable and malleable features of one's work design.
... O' Leary et al. (2011) noted that working in multiple teams differs from "simple" multitasking (Leroy, 2009) or task-switching situations (Monsell, 2003); rather, individual MTM represents an "inherently social and interactive" phenomenon (van de Brake et al., 2018, p. 3) that includes the adoption of multiple simultaneous work roles (e.g., Crawford et al., 2019;Mortensen et al., 2007;Rapp & Mathieu, 2019). In their fundamental work on role theory, Kahn et al. (1964) lay out a specific framework that explains how individuals respond to the enactment of multiple simultaneous roles. ...
Article
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In many firms and industries, it is the norm rather than the exception to work in more than one team at the same time. Despite increased research interest in recent years, we do not fully understand when such multiple team membership (MTM) is “good” or “bad” for employees’ perceptions of stress and exhaustion. In this article, we integrate the person‐job fit framework with opposing views of the role theory literature (i.e., role strain and role accumulation) to propose that an employee's personal reaction to working in multiple simultaneous teams decisively depends on his or her polychronic orientation. We expect that individual MTM is related to increased role efficacy, but not to role stress, for employees with higher (rather than lower) polychronic orientation, thus reducing the perception of emotional exhaustion. The opposite pattern is hypothesized for multiteamers with lower polychronic orientation. We find support for the proposed conditional indirect effects in a sample of 341 German employees. Our findings highlight an employee's polychronic orientation as a stable and context‐independent contingency factor in the MTM–exhaustion linkage, and hold important implications for organizations, as well as individual employees, who seek to deal more effectively with role multiplicity in MTM settings.
... For instance, by drawing employees' attention away from their work and onto the social gaffe episode, social gaffes could act as work interruptions that distract employees, resulting in low performance or poor quality of work (Puranik et al., 2020). It is also possible that trying to not think too much about the social gaffe and forcing oneself to focus on one's work is a depleting experience that results in lowered performance or satisfaction (Leroy, 2009;Puranik et al., in press). We invite researchers to explore these possibilities to advance our knowledge of social gaffes. ...
Article
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In line with the research on how specific episodes affect relationships, we advance workplace social gaffes—work episodes where employees think either their own or others’ social behavior unintentionally violated interactional expectations and threatened the actor’s relational value—as an event that can shape employees’ workplace exchange relationships. Using a sensemaking lens, we explain when and why employees will believe they committed a social gaffe. In so doing, we advance a new definition of a social gaffe that outlines its necessary attributes. We then integrate sensemaking with the research on self-conscious emotions to theorize that on perceiving their social gaffe, employees can experience embarrassment, or guilt, or shame—based on how they make sense of the social gaffe. These emotions, in turn, are theorized to shape employees’ subsequent interpersonal response (repair vs. withdrawal). Moving onto colleagues’ reaction, we posit that whether or not colleagues view the initial employee action as a social gaffe will influence their reaction (benign vs. hostile) to employees’ interpersonal responses. Over time, this employee-colleague interaction pattern is theorized to influence the quality of their exchange relationship. We thus outline how even seemingly minor workplace social gaffes can have complex emotional, interpersonal, and relational consequences.
... This model highlights two challenges: quantifying attention (how much attention) and qualifying the nature of attention (what type of attention). Prior work on attention has shown that our well-being is tied strongly to our ability to manage attention successfully Leroy (2009). This creates an opportunity to design interactive systems that monitor and actively help users to manage their attention. ...
Preprint
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In recent years, everyday activities such as work and socialization have steadily shifted to more remote and virtual settings. With the COVID-19 pandemic, the switch from physical to virtual has been accelerated, which has substantially affected various aspects of our lives, including business, education, commerce, healthcare, and personal life. This rapid and large-scale switch from in-person to remote interactions has revealed that our current technologies lack functionality and are limited in their ability to recreate interpersonal interactions. To help address these limitations in the future, we introduce "Telelife," a vision for the near future that depicts the potential means to improve remote living better aligned with how we interact, live and work in the physical world. Telelife encompasses novel synergies of technologies and concepts such as digital twins, virtual prototyping, and attention and context-aware user interfaces with innovative hardware that can support ultrarealistic graphics, user state detection, and more. These ideas will guide the transformation of our daily lives and routines soon, targeting the year 2035. In addition, we identify opportunities across high-impact applications in domains related to this vision of Telelife. Along with a recent survey of relevant fields such as human-computer interaction, pervasive computing, and virtual reality, the directions outlined in this paper will guide future research on remote living.
... Multitasking is often described as detrimental to work efficiency because of 'switching costs' or 'attention residue' that deplete people's cognitive resources and ability to engage in new tasks (Rubinstein et al., 2001;Leroy, 2009). However, studies that otherwise support this finding also argue that switching attention away from work may 'replenish one's mental resources leading one to become more absorbed in work' (Mark et al., 2017). ...
Article
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This article analyses how knowledge workers experience and reflect upon intrusions from digital media in the pursuit of focused work. As a multitude of digital media technologies have become integral to working life, scholars have observed a connectivity paradox in which these technologies are experienced as both helpful and hindering, as integral to but also intruding upon focus and concentration. To understand this important and widespread ambivalence in digital society, we analyze qualitative interviews with knowledge workers in a range of professions. With a theoretical framework drawing on domestication theory, sociology of work and critiques of digital modernity, we highlight how workers negotiate spatial, temporal, and technological conditions, and the conflicted norms that are activated in the process. Our findings indicate that negotiations about digital media technologies come to represent psychological, cultural and social dilemmas that go beyond the individual worker, but are nevertheless experienced as individual cross-pressures to be managed.
... Theoretically, a temporal marker should be used when one's vigilance level to the focal task starts to diminish. It will be a distraction when employees are still in the deep processing of the focal task (Leroy, 2009). Managers therefore should consider customizing task segmentation to different jobs or even to different people. ...
... The time-based resource sharing model of attention (Barrouillet et al., 2004) explains that even the very act of switching between tasks requires cognitive effort (Liefooghe et al., 2008). Finally, the load theory of attention (Lavie, 2010) argues that a high cognitive load and deleted reservoirs of cognitive resources could make people even more prone to distractive stimuli and motivate them to task switching, resulting in a spiral of cognitive resource loss (Lavie et al., 2004;Lavie and De Fockert, 2005;Leroy, 2009). ...
Article
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Email plays an essential role in organizational communication but can also serve as pertinent source of work interruption and an impediment to well-being. Scholars have proposed email batching, processing emails only at certain times of the day, as a strategy to mitigate the negative consequences of email at work. As empirical evidence is mixed and applications in natural organizational contexts are lacking, we used survey data collected during a quasi-experimental top-down intervention in a Dutch financial services organization to investigate for whom and under what circumstances email batching is effective for reducing email interruptions and ameliorating well-being. We found that participants in the intervention group encountered less email interruptions than participants in the control group. Moreover, email batching reduced emotional exhaustion captured right after the intervention ended, especially for workers dealing with high email volumes and workers believing that instantaneous response was not expected in their organization. The effects of email batching wore off after two weeks and no significant effects on work engagement were found. We conclude that email batching should not be regarded as panacea for enhancing well-being and should only encouraged if it fits with workers' job tasks and organizational expectations regarding email response times more generally.
... The more distractions employees experience in their work, the lower their experience of control over their work is (Keller et al. 2020). As a result, employees who are disturbed have fewer cognitive resources available to finish their current work tasks (Leroy 2009). ...
Article
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Previous research showed that office workers are mainly distracted by noise, influencing their mental health. Little investigation has been done into the influence of other workspace characteristics (i.e., temperature, amount of space, visual privacy, adjustability of furniture, wall colours, and workspace cleanliness) on distractions at the office, and even fewer while working from home (WFH). The influence of home-workspace distractions on mental health also received limited attention. This research aims to investigate relationships between home-workspace and personal characteristics, distraction, and mental health while WFH during COVID-19. A path analysis approach was used, to find that, at home, employees were distracted by noise and when having a small desk. Those with a dedicated workroom were less distracted. Distractions mediated most relationships between home-workspace characteristics and mental health, while personal characteristics influenced mental health directly. Employers can use these results to redesign policies regarding home-and-office working to stimulate a healthy work-environment.
... Once time pressure is implemented, students tend to encounter risky situations that force students to improve their effort and change their behavior. Other authors (Leroy, 2009) showed that time pressure induces a student to performed an activity more efficiently. However, the amount of information load should be centered on the shortcomings of individual students' memories where learning processing is performed, which is supported by Chang et al. (2018). ...
Article
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Challenges in education have continuously been addressed by integrating gamification, but a gap remains for game design principles that support user engagement. This paper outlines results obtained from integrating challenge-based gamification into an elementary school classroom to examine the emergence of student engagement and learning-related behavior. The approach was applied to logical puzzle quizzes where different gamification adjustments were captured and examined using physics' analogy (called the motion in mind concept). The structural experiment, with a mixed methods design, was designed around the notion of time pressure and the difficulty of gamifying the quizzing experience. This model was constructed to validate and expand the quantitative findings (motion in mind model) by including qualitative explorations (thematic analysis). The results revealed the potential synthesis of motion in mind and flow theory, and its relationships to engagement and learning were identified as a new conceptual scheme.
... Beginning a new task also requires some mental or physical preparation (Leroy, 2009). For instance, when consumers prepare to go shopping, they may want to think about all the items they need to buy (mental preparation) and get ready and drive to the store (physical preparation). ...
Article
This research investigates the influence of scheduling styles on consumers' evaluation of time-limited promotions. We find that consumers who rely on an external clock to manage their activities (i.e., clock timers) evaluate a time-limited promotion negatively because they perceive the length of the time frame of the promotion to be insufficient to take advantage of the promotion. However, consumers who rely on an internal sense to manage their activities (i.e., event timers) evaluate a time-limited promotion positively because they perceive the length of the time frame of the promotion to be long enough to take advantage of the promotion. We also find that clock timers have a positive evaluation of the time-limited promotion when the promotion is advertised with an expansive frame (e.g., Anytime between 4 pm and 6 pm) rather than a restrictive frame (e.g., Only between 4 pm and 6 pm).
... In general, when architectural privacy is low, people experience a lack of adequate resources to pursue their work, resulting in adverse reactions (Elsbach & Pratt, 2007). More specifically, workers who experience low levels of privacy feel forced to divide their mental attention between pursuing their tasks and handling the distractions, interferences, and feelings of being monitored by their supervisors and co-workers (Leroy, 2009). Laurence et al. (2013) showed the influence of low privacy on emotional exhaustion and the moderating effect of personalization of one's workplace (see Fig. 1). ...
Article
The role played by place attachment in the prediction of positive or negative outcomes for people wellbeing has been analyzed in various environments, nevertheless the work environment is still understudied. The aim of this research was to test the relationship between the three workplace attachment styles (i.e., secure, avoidant, and preoccupied) and employees' exhaustion, considering also satisfaction toward the workplace design as a possible mediator and privacy as a possible moderator. Data were collected through a self-report questionnaire filled in by 270 employees in different offices. Results show that preoccupied and avoidant workplace attachment are associated with high exhaustion, whereas secure workplace attachment is connected to low exhaustion. Such relationships are mediated by workplace design satisfaction in opposite sense for secure and avoidant (but not for preoccupied) workplace attachment. Finally, the amplification effect of privacy was found only in the relationship between secure workplace attachment and exhaustion. Overall, these findings prove the importance of considering both workplace attachment patterns and design features (including privacy issues) for promoting a better work experience in office employees.
... We are immersed in a media ecosystem centered on the concept of multitasking, victims of a condition of incessant distraction, vulnerability and agitation (Ophir, Nass and Wagner 2009;Leroy 2009;Wang and Tchernev 2012;Becker, Alzahabi and Hopwood 2012;Srivastava 2013;Downs et al., 2015;Leroy and Schmidt 2016;Kirschner andDe Bruyckere 2017, AAgaard 2019;Zane, Smith and Walker Reczek 2020). We are increasingly willing to accept that during a conversation our interlocutor looks at their smartphone screen or answers a call (Przybylski and Weinstein 2012;Hall, Baym and Miltner 2014;Misra et al., 2014), and we ...
Chapter
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The digital era seems to have led to the atrophy of our ability to converse with ourselves and to empathize. Thus, in the school environment it is increasingly necessary to emphasize sharing the energy of students' emotions, generating a climate that is highly dynamic, rich, fluid, and creative. This chapter describes a didactic activity that sees conversational agents as a key to generating engaging learning experiences, thus reconsidering and reinterpreting the traditional class period. Technology can facilitate the return to a form of learning centered around conversation itself, not only between man and machine but above all between humans. It can do this by stepping aside at the right time. To help achieve this goal, we hereby present a didactic tool for the study of Greek literature — the conversational agent “Sappho the Poet” (it. “La poetessa Saffo”), modeled after one of the most mysterious and iconic figures of all classicism.
... This model highlights two challenges: quantifying attention (how much attention) and qualifying the nature of attention (what type of attention). Prior work on attention has shown that our well-being is tied strongly to our ability to manage attention successfully (Leroy, 2009). This creates an opportunity to design interactive systems that monitor and actively help users to manage their attention. ...
Article
Full-text available
In recent years, everyday activities such as work and socialization have steadily shifted to more remote and virtual settings. With the COVID-19 pandemic, the switch from physical to virtual has been accelerated, which has substantially affected almost all aspects of our lives, including business, education, commerce, healthcare, and personal life. This rapid and large-scale switch from in-person to remote interactions has exacerbated the fact that our current technologies lack functionality and are limited in their ability to recreate interpersonal interactions. To help address these limitations in the future, we introduce “Telelife,” a vision for the near and far future that depicts the potential means to improve remote living and better align it with how we interact, live and work in the physical world. Telelife encompasses novel synergies of technologies and concepts such as digital twins, virtual/physical rapid prototyping, and attention and context-aware user interfaces with innovative hardware that can support ultrarealistic graphics and haptic feedback, user state detection, and more. These ideas will guide the transformation of our daily lives and routines soon, targeting the year 2035. In addition, we identify opportunities across high-impact applications in domains related to this vision of Telelife. Along with a recent survey of relevant fields such as human-computer interaction, pervasive computing, and virtual reality, we provide a meta-synthesis in this paper that will guide future research on remote living.
Article
Human error is an essential factor that affects the quality and safety of industrial production. To deeply understand the human factors that cause failures in an organization from the perspective of maintenance personnel, we propose an analytical approach combined with Fault Tree Analysis and qualitative analysis and apply this approach to maintenance task failure incidents. These proposed methods are based on human factor classification and the Human Factors Analysis and Classification System. We conduct a case study to prove the effectiveness of applying our approach to the Chinese manufacturing industry. Results enabled the disclosure of the “latent factors” of maintenance incidents, helped improve human error analysis in maintenance incidents and helped to understand the fundamental reasons that affect work reliability and cause maintenance failures. This case study focuses on the impact of critical human factors on organizational effectiveness and operational reliability during maintenance activities.
Chapter
Many employees justify their cyberloafing (i.e., non-work-related Internet use during work time) behavior as a mental break. However, there is little empirical research to examine the mental recovery effect of cyberloafing. This study aims to design a lab experiment to investigate the impact of cyberloafing on employee mental fatigue and task productivity. The study also aims to compare cyberloafing with a traditional means of mental breaks (i.e., walking outside for a while) in alleviating mental fatigue and improving productivity. The expected findings of this study are (1) cyberloafing can help employees reduce mental fatigue to some extent by replenishing their attentional resources; however, (2) compared with walking outside for a while, the mental recovery effect of cyberloafing may not be so good because it may take employees more time and effort to switch their attention from cyberloafing (than from walking outside) back to the work task. Neuroscience tools will be employed to support the expected findings above.
Article
Project-based organizations face significant challenges as they make decisions about staffing projects. Although staffing teams with members who have the appropriate expertise is important, managers also consider factors such as the amount of experience members have working with each other in the past (team familiarity). Additionally, companies are concerned with increasing the utilization of employee time, so managers assign employees to multiple concurrent projects (multiteaming) to reduce downtime and maximize use of expertise. However, questions exist as to how team familiarity and multiteaming contribute to project outcomes, particularly operational capabilities such as cost efficiency and quality. In this study, we present countervailing hypotheses and empirically examine how team familiarity and multiteaming influence the tradeoff between cost efficiency and quality. Results show that team familiarity mitigates the cost efficiency-quality tradeoff, allowing teams to attain both capabilities. In contrast, multiteaming increases the tradeoff between cost efficiency and quality such that teams are more likely to attain one or the other, but not both. In light of the findings, we provide staffing suggestions to practitioners for effective management of project teams.
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Professors today struggle with unreasonable workloads and a work management format antithetical to high quality research and teaching. Recent studies show that many professors suffer from high levels of stress, anxiety, and exhaustion, and several studies report high levels of burnout. The reasons for this situation are not yet fully understood. In this article, I discuss the current academic work management format as a key motive that hinders the well-being of professors and the quality of their work. To understand this issue, the article explores the concept of deep work in relation to academia. It examines the contrasting circumstances of deep work and the continual and disruptive mode of communication required by the hyperactive hive mind. Work based on instant digital communication tools takes a hidden toll on the ability of professors to manage their attention. Instant communications among academic staff members disrupts the deep work required for engagement in research and teaching. To obtain the best possible results from faculty, we should manage attention as a scarce and valuable resource. To do this requires redesigning the management of academic work, a project outside the remit of most academic professionals—or the professors subject to the demands of the hyperactive hive mentality. Direct link to the article here: https://authors.elsevier.com/sd/article/S2405872622000181
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Workplaces increasingly use response speed as a proxy for hard work, signaling to employees that the only way to succeed is to be “always on.” Drawing on boundary theory and egocentrism, we examine a problematic bias around expectations of response speed for work emails, namely that receivers overestimate senders’ response speed expectations to non-urgent emails sent outside normative work hours (e.g., on the weekend). We label this phenomenon the email urgency bias and document it across eight pre-registered experimental studies (N = 4,004). This bias led to discrepancies in perceived stress of receiving emails, and was associated with lower subjective well-being via greater experienced stress. A small adjustment on the sender’s side alleviated the email urgency bias (a brief note senders can add in their emails to clarify their response expectations). This paper demonstrates the importance of perspective differences in email exchanges and the need to explicitly communicate non-urgent expectations.
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Workplace intrusions—unexpected encounters initiated by another person that disrupt an individual’s work—are generally characterized as negative experiences that deplete resources, increase role and information overload, and promote strain. In contrast, our research argues that intrusions may also provide benefits to the employees who are intruded upon. Taking a multistudy approach, we investigate how intrusions impact the extent to which employees engage in their own work—work engagement—and the extent to which they engage in work with others—collaboration. We also investigate the indirect effects of intrusions on employees’ task-focused and person-focused citizenship behavior through these mechanisms. We tested our predictions with a within-person experimental critical incident study (Study 1), an experiment (Study 2), and an experience-sampling methodology study with a sample of scientists involved in research and development (Study 3). Our research investigates the dynamics of various types of workplace intrusions, with results suggesting that intrusions may lead to beneficial employee outcomes in addition to the adverse outcomes previously demonstrated in the literature. Given the ubiquitous nature of intrusions in organizations, our findings have both theoretical and practical significance.
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Important discretionary tasks such as quality improvement, process compliance and energy efficiency require constantly focusing the attention of decision‐makers. Using a combination of archival data analysis and a field study, we show how nudges in the form of reminders can serve as a simple yet powerful managerial lever to focus attention on such tasks and increase the likelihood that these tasks will be completed. We study the effectiveness of reminders in the context of energy efficiency (EE) tasks in manufacturing facilities. Technical assistance programs make EE recommendations to participating manufacturing sites and remind them regularly to pay attention to implementation. Our analysis shows that these reminders lead to a more widespread implementation of EE improvement suggestions and are particularly useful when facilities undertake multiple EE tasks in parallel, or when other unrelated sustainability tasks are being pursued in parallel. Next, we conduct a field study by leveraging a policy intervention called “Touchbase Tuesdays” that was implemented by our partner organization based on the results from our analysis. This field study provides additional causal evidence of the effect of reminders on EE task implementation. Overall, we observe that simple reminders can deliver substantial increases in task implementation rates in this context.
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Problem definition: We examine the impact of four classes of workplace interruptions on short-term (working hours) and long-term (across-shifts) worker performance in an agribusiness setting. The interruptions are organized in a two-by-two framework in which they result (or do not result) in a physical task requirement and lead to a varying degree of attention shift from the primary task. Academic/practical relevance: Prior operations management literature primarily examines the long-term effects of a single class of interruption that reduces performance. Our study contributes to this literature by examining multiple classes of interruptions that lead to positive and negative outcomes over the short-term in addition to the long-term. Further, our study also contributes to understanding the impact of general task transitions (interruptions) on worker performance, and the interrupting tasks include tasks that are not part of workers’ primary job duties. Our study is relevant to work settings that envelop high manual labor and experience interruptions regularly. Finally, we offer strategies to improve operational performance. Methodology: Using a granular data set on worker productivity from 211 harvesters yielding 117,581 truckloads of fruit harvested for 9,819 worker shifts, we utilize an instrumental variable approach with two-stage residual inclusion estimation on a mix of linear and nonlinear models to examine and quantify the impact of interruptions on both short- and long-term worker productivity. Results: We identify a new interruption class, a pause—interruptions that provide the physical respite and limit the degree of attention shift from the primary task. We find that pauses improve worker productivity in the short- and long-term. Next, we find that scheduled breaks hurt (improve) the worker’s productivity in the short-term (long-term). Finally, we find that harvester breakdown and travel across field interruptions that drain physical resources and cause attention shift hurt worker productivity in the short- and long-term. We quantify the impact (in our field context) of a five-minute increase in each of these work interruptions on average worker productivity. Managerial implications: Our study demonstrates that various work interruptions can have positive or negative effects on workers’ productivity. We suggest that introducing brief pauses in a workday and simultaneously reminding (before initiating the pause) employees about the tasks yet to be completed or goals to be achieved for the rest of the shift can help maintain their focus on the work and yield high-performance benefits. We also suggest strategies that limit the restart costs and increase the predictability of interruptions that hurt performance. For example, in regards to scheduled breaks, planning the break after completing a subtask or reaching a subgoal can limit their adverse effects. Further, informing workers on the possibility of interruption circumstances at the beginning of the work shift can help them plan for these events and improve engagement and performance on the primary job.
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Purpose Knowledge workers live and work in a technology-enabled, push-notification world full of interruptions that create information overload, often requiring these workers to utilize task switching as a mechanism to meet multiple competing tasks' demands. Previous research has examined both the positive and, more often, negative effects from interruptions and task switching on knowledge workers' performance. However, this paper aims to examine knowledge workers' agentic approach to managing interruption signals and consequent task switching to remain dedicated to the task at hand. Design/methodology/approach Using an inductive grounded theory approach, we analyzed data from semi-structured interviews with knowledge workers regarding their experiences with task management strategies in interruption-heavy environments. Findings The results indicate the emergence of a new construct that we define as “task adherence.” We identified behavioral and technological mechanisms that knowledge workers employ to adhere to tasks, and we also categorized a host of environmental, personal and task-related factors that influence a knowledge worker's task adherence level. Practical implications This study offers a novel conceptualization of key determinants of knowledge workers' task management. Through insights into how knowledge workers purposefully prepare for and address potential interruption signals, as well as manage task switching from subsequent interruptions, managers may be able to design new work processes to improve task performance. Originality/value In a world of interruptions, task adherence adds to and clarifies a missing element in the time and task management dilemma that can enhance future efforts in designing strategies that enable knowledge workers to be more productive.
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Objectives: Hospital medicine groups vary staffing models to match available workforce with expected patient volumes and acuity. Larger groups often assign a single hospitalist to triage pager duty which can be burdensome due to frequent interruptions and multitasking. We introduced a new role, the Triage nurse, to hold the triage pager and distribute patients. We sought to determine the effect of this Triage Nurse on the perceived workload of hospitalists and frequency of pages. Methods: We partnered with our patient throughput department to implement the Triage Nurse role who took the responsibility of tracking and distributing admissions amongst three admitting physicians along with coordinating report. We used the National Aeronautics and Space Administration-Task Load Index (NASA-TLX) to measure perceived workload and accessed pager logs of admitters for 3 months before and after implementation. Results: Overall, 50 of an expected 67 NASA-TLX surveys (74.6%) were returned in the pre-intervention period and 64 of 92 (69.6%) were returned in the post-intervention period. We found a statistically significant reduction in the domains of physical demand, temporal demand, effort and frustration from pre- to post-intervention periods (p < 0.01). There was also a significant decrease in the performance domain (p = 0.01) with a lower number indicative of better perceived performance. There was a significant reduction in the mean number of pages received by admitting hospitalists over their 9 hour shifts (81.3 + 17.3 vs 52.4 + 7.3; p <0.01). Conclusion: The implementation of the Triage Nurse role was associated with a significant decrease in the perceived workload of admitting hospitalists. Our findings are important because workload and interruptions can contribute to errors and burnout. Future studies should test interventions to improve hospitalist workload and evaluate their effect on patient outcomes and physician wellness.
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Positive psychology postulates that using one’s strengths can facilitate employee well-being and performance at work. However, whether strengths use is associated with attentional performance has remained unanswered in the literature. Attention plays a role in job performance, and previous literature has suggested a contrasting link between well-being (i.e., positive affect) and attentional performance. We hypothesize that, within work episodes, strength use is positively associated with eudaimonic (i.e., meaningfulness and personal growth) and hedonic well-being (i.e., positive affect). Further, we test the episodic process model by arguing that strengths use and well-being during one work episode are negatively related to subsequent attentional performance. In total, 115 participants registered for the current study, and 86 participants filled out the daily questionnaire once per day across five working days (a total of 365 daily reports). Multilevel analyses showed that episodic strengths use was not directly related to subsequent attentional performance. Episodic strengths use was positively related to a higher level of meaningfulness, personal growth, and positive affect. In turn, experienced meaningfulness was negatively related to subsequent attentional performance. However, personal growth and positive affect did not explain variance in attentional performance. These findings suggest that strength use may be accompanied with higher experienced meaningfulness, although the latter may be detrimental for subsequent attentional performance. Theoretical implications and contributions are discussed.
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In this article, we attempt to distinguish between the properties of moderator and mediator variables at a number of levels. First, we seek to make theorists and researchers aware of the importance of not using the terms moderator and mediator interchangeably by carefully elaborating, both conceptually and strategically, the many ways in which moderators and mediators differ. We then go beyond this largely pedagogical function and delineate the conceptual and strategic implications of making use of such distinctions with regard to a wide range of phenomena, including control and stress, attitudes, and personality traits. We also provide a specific compendium of analytic procedures appropriate for making the most effective use of the moderator and mediator distinction, both separately and in terms of a broader causal system that includes both moderators and mediators. (46 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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The concept and measurement of commitment to goals, a key aspect of goal-setting theory, are discussed. The strength of the relationship between commitment and performance is asserted to depend on the amount of variance in commitment. Three major categories of determinants of commitment are discussed: external factors (authority, peer influence, external rewards), interactive factors (participation and competition), and internal factors (expectancy, internal rewards). Applications of these ideas are made and new research directions are suggested.
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This study of the complete life-spans of eight naturally-occurring teams began with the unexpected finding that several project groups, studied for another purpose, did not accomplish their work by progressing gradually through a universal series of stages, as traditional group development models would predict. Instead, teams progressed in a pattern of "punctuated equilibrium" through alternating inertia and revolution in the behaviors and themes through which they approached their work. The findings also suggested that groups' progress was triggered more by members' awareness of time and deadlines than by completion of an absolute amount of work in a specific developmental stage. The paper proposes a new model of group development that encompasses the timing and mechanisms of change as well as groups' dynamic relations with their contexts. Implications for theory, research, and practice are drawn.
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Assessed the effects of individuals' proneness to cognitive interference on performance following failure. Ss responded to a questionnaire tapping proneness to cognitive interference and were exposed to either no feedback or failure. On completing these problems, Ss performed a cognitive task in which the memory load was varied systematically. The cognitive interference theory successfully predicted most of the group differences: (a) Only the performance of Ss with a habitual tendency to engage in off-task cognitions was debilitated by failure; (b) this performance impairment was only observed in performance accuracy in the high memory load version of the task; and (c) performance accuracy was associated with the frequency of off-task cognitions in the experiment. Results were discussed in terms of the cognitive interference interpretation of learned helplessness. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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[the terms ruminative thoughts or rumination] refer to a class of conscious thoughts that revolve around a common instrumental theme and that recur in the absence of immediate environmental demands requiring the thoughts / propose a formal definition of rumination and a theoretical model / the model addresses [goals and other] factors that initiate and terminate rumination as well as those that influence its content / the model also outlines some of the consequences of rumination for a variety of cognitive, affective, and behavioral phenomena / believe the model not only suggests a way in which to integrate what are currently separate yet related literature on ruminative phenomena (e.g., meaning analysis, daydreaming, problem solving, reminiscence, anticipation) but also suggests directions for future research / present evidence for some of the model's assumptions and then discuss some consequences of rumination varieties of conscious thought / the mechanisms of rumination / additional considerations [the relation between affect and rumination, individual differences, is the model falsifiable] (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Person perception includes three sequential processes: categorization (what is the actor doing?), characterization (what trait does the action imply?), and correction (what situational constraints may have caused the action?). We argue that correction is less automatic (i.e., more easily disrupted) than either categorization or characterization. In Experiment 1, subjects observed a target behave anxiously in an anxiety-provoking situation. In Experiment 2, subjects listened to a target read a political speech that he had been constrained to write. In both experiments, control subjects used information about situational constraints when drawing inferences about the target, but cognitively busy subjects (who performed an additional cognitive task during encoding) did not. The results (a) suggest that person perception is a combination of lower and higher order processes that differ in their susceptibility to disruption and (b) highlight the fundamental differences between active and passive perceivers. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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The question of how affect arises and what affect indicates is examined from a feedback-based viewpoint on self-regulation. Using the analogy of action control as the attempt to diminish distance to a goal, a second feedback system is postulated that senses and regulates the rate at which the action-guiding system is functioning. This second system is seen as responsible for affect. Implications of these assertions and issues that arise from them are addressed in the remainder of the article. Several issues relate to the emotion model itself; others concern the relation between negative emotion and disengagement from goals. Relations to 3 other emotion theories are also addressed. The authors conclude that this view on affect is a useful supplement to other theories and that the concept of emotion is easily assimilated to feedback models of self-regulation. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Three experiments investigated whether visual search tasks can be combined without cost. A total of 8 university students searched for 1 target character in a series of 12 rapidly presented frames. The type of processing, controlled or automatic (CP or AP, respectively), was manipulated by requiring search for variably mapped (VM) or consistently mapped (CM) target and distractor sets. Conditions included VM-only search (CP), CM-only search (AP), and simultaneous CM/VM search. Joint automatic and controlled search with emphasis on the controlled search task produced no loss of detection sensitivity in either task but did produce a large criterion shift in the automatic search task. Without instructional emphasis on the controlled search task, controlled search deteriorated. Ss also showed a tendency to waste CP resources when performing AP. AP became less resource demanding with practice. However, CP was always sensitive to resource reductions. Results show that Ss can sometimes perform dual search tasks without noticeable deficit when one of the tasks is automatic. (37 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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The tendency to "bask in reflected glory" (BIRG) by publicly announcing one's associations with successful others was investigated in 3 field experiments with more than 300 university students. All 3 studies showed this effect to occur even though the person striving to bask in the glory of a successful source was not involved in the cause of the source's success. Exp I demonstrated the BIRG phenomenon by showing a greater tendency for university students to wear school-identifying apparel after their school's football team had been victorious than nonvictorious. Exps II and III replicated this effect by showing that students used the pronoun we more when describing victory than a nonvictory of their school's football team. A model was developed asserting that the BIRG response represents an attempt to enhance one's public image. Exps II and III indicated, in support of this assertion, that the tendency to proclaim a connection with a positive source was strongest when one's public image was threatened. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Two central constructs of applied psychology, motivation and cognitive ability, were integrated within an information-processing (IPR) framework. This framework simultaneously considers individual differences in cognitive abilities, self-regulatory processes of motivation, and IPR demands. Evidence for the framework is provided in the context of skill acquisition, in which IPR and ability demands change as a function of practice, training paradigm, and timing of goal setting (GS). Three field-based lab experiments were conducted with 1,010 US Air Force trainees. Exp 1 evaluated the basic ability–performance parameters of the air traffic controller task and GS effects early in practice. Exp 2 evaluated GS later in practice. Exp 3 investigated the simultaneous effects of training content, GS and ability–performance interactions. Results support the theoretical framework and have implications for notions of ability–motivation interactions and design of training and motivation programs. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Tested the hypotheses that goal acceptance moderates the relationship of goal difficulty to task performance as follows: (a) The relationship is positive and linear for accepted goals; (b) it is negative and linear if the goal is rejected; and thus, (c) slope reversal from positively to negatively linear relationships is associated with transition from positive to negative values of goal acceptance. The experiment was a within-S design, allowing for high variance in acceptance, with technicians and engineers (21–50 yrs of age) divided at random into a 2-phase experimental condition ( n = 104) with specific goal difficulty gradually increasing from Trial 1 to 7 and a control group ( n = 36) with the general instructions to "do your best." Instructions for Phase 2 differed from Phase 1 in that Ss were instructed to reassess their acceptance of difficult goals. The task consisted of determining, within 2-min trials, how many digits or letters in a row were the same as the circled one to the left of each row. Results support the hypotheses. (16 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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The accessibility of suppressed thoughts was compared with the accessibility of thoughts on which Ss were consciously trying to concentrate. In Exp 1, Ss made associations to word prompts as they tried to suppress thinking about a target word (e.g., house) or tried to concentrate on that word. Under the cognitive load imposed by time pressure, they gave the target word in response to target-related prompts (e.g., home) more often during suppression than during concentration. In Exp 2, reaction times (RTs) for naming colors of words were found to be greater under conditions of cognitive load when Ss were asked to suppress thinking of the word than under conditions of no cognitive load or when Ss were asked to concentrate on the word. The results support the idea that an automatic search for the suppression target increases the accessibility of the target during suppression. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Developed and validated the Need for Cognition Scale (NCS). In Study 1, a pool of items was administered to 96 faculty members (high-need-for-cognition group) and assembly line workers (low-need-for-cognition group). Ambiguity, irrelevance, and internal consistency were used to select items for subsequent studies. Factor analysis yielded one major factor. In Study 2, the NCS and the Group Embedded Figures Test were administered to 419 undergraduates to validate the factor structure and to determine whether the NCS tapped a construct distinct from test anxiety and cognitive style. The factor structure was replicated, and responses to the NCS were weakly related to cognitive style and unrelated to test anxiety. In Study 3, 104 undergraduates completed the NCS, the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale, and a dogmatism scale. Results indicate that need for cognition was related weakly and negatively to being closeminded, unrelated to social desirability, and positively correlated with general intelligence. Study 4 (97 undergraduates) furnished evidence of the predictive validity of the NCS. (32 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Chapter
This chapter examines the role of time pressure in negotiation and mediation. Negotiation can be defined as discussion between two or more parties and joint decision making with the goal of reaching agreement. Mediation is a variation on negotiation in which one or more outsiders (“third parties”) assist the parties in their efforts to reach agreement.
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The fundamental phenomenon of human closed-mindedness is treated in this volume. Prior psychological treatments of closed-mindedness have typically approached it from a psychodynamic perspective and have viewed it in terms of individual pathology. By contrast, the present approach stresses the epistemic functionality of closed-mindedness and its essential role in judgement and decision-making. Far from being restricted to a select group of individuals suffering from an improper socialization, closed-mindedness is something we all experience on a daily basis. Such mundane situational conditions as time pressure, noise, fatigue, or alcoholic intoxication, for example, are all known to increase the difficulty of information processing, and may contribute to one's experienced need for nonspecific closure. Whether constituting a dimension of stable individual differences, or being engendered situationally - the need for closure, once aroused, is shown to produce the very same consequences. These fundamentally include the tendency to 'seize' on early, closure-affording 'evidence', and to 'freeze' upon it thus becoming impervious to subsequent, potentially important, information. Though such consequences form a part of the individual's personal experience, they have significant implications for interpersonal, group and inter-group phenomena as well. The present volume describes these in detail and grounds them in numerous research findings of theoretical and 'real world' relevance to a wide range of topics including stereotyping, empathy, communication, in-group favouritism and political conservatism. Throughout, a distinction is maintained between the need for a nonspecific closure (i.e., any closure as long as it is firm and definite) and needs for specific closures (i.e., for judgments whose particular contents are desired by an individual). Theory and research discussed in this book should be of interest to upper level undergraduates, graduate students and faculty in social, cognitive, and personality psychology as well as in sociology, political science and business administration.
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The question of how affect arises and what affect indicates is examined from a feedback-based viewpoint on self-regulation. Using the analogy of action control as the attempt to diminish distance to a goal, a second feedback system is postulated that senses and regulates the rate at which the action-guiding system is functioning. This second system is seen as responsible for affect. Implications of these assertions and issues that arise from them are addressed in the remainder of the article. Several issues relate to the emotion model itself; others concern the relation between negative emotion and disengagement from goals. Relations to 3 other emotion theories are also addressed. The authors conclude that this view on affect is a useful supplement to other theories and that the concept of emotion is easily assimilated to feedback models of self-regulation.
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The intention-superiority effect is the finding that response latencies are faster for items related to an uncompleted intention as compared with materials that have no associated intentionality. T. Goschke and J. Kuhl(1993) used recognition latency for simple action scripts to document this effect. We used a lexical-decision task to replicate that shorter latencies were associated with uncompleted intentions as compared with neutral materials (Experiments 1 and 3). Experiments 2-4, however, demonstrated that latencies were longer for completed scripts as compared with neutral materials. In Experiment 3, shorter latencies were also obtained for partially completed scripts. The results are discussed in terms of the activation and inhibition that may guide behavior, as well as how these results may inform theories of prospective memory.
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The present research was designed to examine the impact of temporal constraints on group interaction and performance. Thirty-six triads worked on one of two planning tasks under conditions of time scarcity, optimal time, or time abundance. Group interactions were videotaped and coded using the TEMPO system. Each group's written solution was rated on length, originality, creativity, adequacy, issue involvement, quality of presentation, optimism, and action orientation. Each proposal suggested during the interaction was rated on creativity and adequacy. Interaction process data showed that time limits were inversely related to the amount of task focus shown by groups. Performance data showed that the effects of time limits on group performance varied depending on what aspects of quality were considered. Process-performance relationships were also examined within each time condition. The findings are discussed in terms of an attentional focus model of time limits and group performance.
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This study began with the premise that people can use varying degrees of their selves. physically. cognitively. and emotionally. in work role performances. which has implications for both their work and experi­ ences. Two qualitative. theory-generating studies of summer camp counselors and members of an architecture firm were conducted to explore the conditions at work in which people personally engage. or express and employ their personal selves. and disengage. or withdraw and defend their personal selves. This article describes and illustrates three psychological conditions-meaningfulness. safety. and availabil­ ity-and their individual and contextual sources. These psychological conditions are linked to existing theoretical concepts. and directions for future research are described. People occupy roles at work; they are the occupants of the houses that roles provide. These events are relatively well understood; researchers have focused on "role sending" and "receiving" (Katz & Kahn. 1978). role sets (Merton. 1957). role taking and socialization (Van Maanen. 1976), and on how people and their roles shape each other (Graen. 1976). Researchers have given less attention to how people occupy roles to varying degrees-to how fully they are psychologically present during particular moments of role performances. People can use varying degrees of their selves. physically, cognitively, and emotionally. in the roles they perform. even as they main­ tain the integrity of the boundaries between who they are and the roles they occupy. Presumably, the more people draw on their selves to perform their roles within those boundaries. the more stirring are their performances and the more content they are with the fit of the costumes they don. The research reported here was designed to generate a theoretical frame­ work within which to understand these "self-in-role" processes and to sug­ gest directions for future research. My specific concern was the moments in which people bring themselves into or remove themselves from particular task behaviors, My guiding assumption was that people are constantly bring­ ing in and leaving out various depths of their selves during the course of The guidance and support of David Berg, Richard Hackman, and Seymour Sarason in the research described here are gratefully acknowledged. I also greatly appreciated the personal engagements of this journal's two anonymous reviewers in their roles, as well as the comments on an earlier draft of Tim Hall, Kathy Kram, and Vicky Parker.
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Thirty six subjects chose individually between pairs of gambles under three time pressure conditions: High (8 seconds), Medium (16 seconds) and Low (32 seconds). The gambles in each pair were equated for expected value but differed in variance, amounts to win and lose and their respective probabilities. Information about each dimension could be obtained by the subject sequentially according to his preference.The results show that subjects are less risky under High as compared to Medium and Low time pressure, risk taking being measured by choices of gambles with lower variance or lower amounts to lose and win. Subjects tended to spend more time observing the negative dimensions (amount to lose and probability of losing), whereas under low time pressure they preffered observing their positive counterparts. Information preference was found to be related to choices.Filtration of information and acceleration of its processing appear to be the strategies of coping with time pressure.
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Article
Abstract Interruptions are typically considered disruptive for organizational members, hindering their performance,and effectiveness. Although interruptions can have negative effects on work performance, they also can serve in multiple ways as facilitators of performance. In this paper, we discuss four key types of interruptions that have different causes and consequences: intrusions, breaks, distractions, and discrepancies. Each type of interruption can occur during the workday, and each type has different implications for individual effectiveness. We delineate the principle features of each of the four types of interruptions and specify when each kind of interruption is likely to have positive or negative consequences,for the person being interrupted. By discussing in detail the multiple kinds of interruptions and their potential for positive or negative consequences, we provide a means for organizational scholars to treat interruptions and their consequences,in more discriminating ways. 2 Interruptions are generally defined as incidents or occurrences that obstruct or delay organizational members as they attempt to make progress on work tasks and, thus, are typically
Article
Managerial work has been defined as an activity characterized by brevity, fragmentation and occurring at an unrelenting pace. In today's workplaces, fragmented work environments are commonplace for people involved in managerial work, and even for knowledge workers. It seems that support technology is partly to blame in this context: we have created more powerful tools which partly hinder productivity. The purpose of our research is (i) to understand the cause and sources of fragmentation of working time, (ii) provide solutions to reduce interruptions and their effects, (iii) propose guidelines to develop information systems suited for the purposes of the work of knowledge workers.
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This article develops the concept of psychological presence to describe the experiential state enabling organization members to draw deeply on their personal selves in role performances, i.e., express thoughts and feelings, question assumptions, innovate. The dimensions of psychological presence are described along with relevant organizational and individual factors. The concept's implications for theory and research about the person-role relationship are described.
Article
Triads, working under time pressure or not, participated in a management simulation that asked groups to decide which of two cholesterol-reducing drugs to market. The total distribution of information available to the group always favored the same drug. However, members’ initial preferences were manipulated by varying the distribution of shared information (provided to all members) and unshared information (provided to only a single member) supporting each alternative. Thus, each member’s fact sheet either (a) favored the correct decision (correct preference condition), (b) mildly favored the incorrect decision (weak incorrect preference condition), or (c) strongly favored the incorrect decision (strong incorrect preference condition). Initial preferences were major determinants of group decisions. Time pressure either enhanced or reduced decision quality depending on the strength of initial preferences and the content of the group interactions. These findings are discussed in light of Karau and Kelly’s Attentional Focus Model of group performance.
Article
Epistemic, freezing, operationalized as impressional primacy, was examined as a function of situationally induced need for cognitive closure (manipulated by varying time pressure) and dispositional introversion-extroversion. Fifty-eight subjects under high or low time pressure predicted the success of a job candidate. Overalll the tendency to use early information in predicting job success increased when time pressure was high. Consistent with predictions, introverts used early information in forming judgments to a greater extent then extraverts when time pressure was high. No significant differences were found between introverts and extraverts when time pressure was low. The results suggest that introverts may be particularly sensitive to situations requiring cognitive closure.
Article
This paper reports an experiment in which the influence of time pressure, the social category of the target person, and emotional responses on impression formation and recognition memory was studied. It was hypothesized that under time pressure, subjects using their stereotype would process information about an outgroup target more easily than information about an ingroup target, would judge these targets more differentially, and would base their judgments of the outgroup target more on their attitudes than in a condition without time pressure. These hypotheses were to a large extent sustained. Results are discussed in terms of current models of impression formation and attitude functioning.
Article
A laboratory experiment examined the effects of time pressure on the process and outcome of integrative bargaining. Time pressure was operationalized in terms of the amount of time available to negotiate. As hypothesized, high time pressure produced nonagreements and poor negotiation outcomes only when negotiators adopted an individualistic orientation; when negotiators adopted a cooperative orientation, they achieved high outcomes regardless of time pressure. In combination with an individualistic orientation, time pressure produced greater competitiveness, firm negotiator aspirations, and reduced information exchange. In combination with a cooperative orientation, time pressure produced greater cooperativeness and lower negotiator aspirations. The main findings were seen as consistent with Pruitt's strategic-choice model of negotiation.
Article
Proposes an integrative theoretical framework for studying psychological aspects of incentive relationships. During the time that an incentive is behaviorally salient, an organism is especially responsive to incentive-related cues. This sustained sensitivity requires postulating a continuing state (denoted by a construct, current concern) with a definite onset (commitment) and offset (consummation or disengagement). Disengagement follows frustration, accompanies the behavioral process of extinction, and involves an incentive-disengagement cycle of invigoration, aggression, depression, and recovery. Depression is thus a normal part of disengagement that may be either adaptive or maladaptive for the individual but is probably adaptive for the species. Implications for motivation; etiology, symptomatology, and treatment of depression; drug use; and other social problem areas are discussed. (41/2 p ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
The intention-superiority effect is the finding that response latencies are faster for items related to an uncompleted intention as compared with materials that have no associated intentionality. T. Goschke and J. Kuhl (1993) used recognition latency for simple action scripts to document this effect. We used a lexical-decision task to replicate that shorter latencies were associated with uncompleted intentions as compared with neutral materials (Experiments 1 and 3). Experiments 2–4, however, demonstrated that latencies were longer for completed scripts as compared with neutral materials. In Experiment 4, shorter latencies were also obtained for partially completed scripts. The results are discussed in terms of the activation and inhibition that may guide behavior, as well as how these results may inform theories of prospective memory. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Two studies with 182 White female college students investigated the effects of cognitive busyness on the activation and application of stereotypes. In Exp 1, not-busy Ss who were exposed to an Asian target showed evidence of stereotype activation, but busy Ss (who rehearsed an 8-digit number during their exposure) did not. In Exp 2, cognitive busyness once again inhibited the activation of stereotypes about Asians. However, when stereotype activation was allowed to occur, busy Ss (who performed a visual search task during their exposure) were more likely to apply these activated stereotypes than were not-busy Ss. Together, these findings suggest that cognitive busyness may decrease the likelihood that a particular stereotype will be activated but increase the likelihood that an activated stereotype will be applied. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
In "Losing Control," the authors provide a single reference source with comprehensive information on general patterns of self-regulation failure across contexts, research findings on specific self-control disorders, and commentary on the clinical and social aspects of self-regulation failure. Self-control is discussed in relation to what the "self" is, and the cognitive, motivational, and emotional factors that impinge on one's ability to control one's "self." (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
the purpose of this paper is to review this research [experiments in social perception and interpersonal relations] and to summarize its conclusions and implications / aim is to summarize what we have learned about the "attribution process" as it occurs in social interaction and the facts that affect its course propositions about information patterns that form the basis for various attributions consider . . . several types of attribution phenomena in which the attributor makes use of the information at his disposal in a highly reasonable manner important exceptions, in which the available information is used in systematically biased and even erroneous ways locus of effect of the covariant cause / temporal relations between cause and effect multiple plausible causes: the discounting effect / constancy of effect / facilitative versus inhibitory causes / ambiguity as to the significance of external causes / reciprocation of harm and benefit / sincerity, veridicality, and attribution of causality / attributions as mediating variables less rational attribution tendencies attribution and control (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Presents an animal model of how learned helplessness may manifest itself as depression and anxiety. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Examined the effects of time limits and task types on the quality and quantity of group performance and patterns of group interaction. 344 undergraduates participated in 4-S group sessions in which they were required to generate a written story, a plan of action, or a summary of a discussion. Results were interpreted in terms of social entrainment, a concept that refers to the altering of social rhythms or patterns by external conditions (such as time limits) and to the persistence of new rhythms over time. Groups performed 2 tasks of a single-task type for 2 trials of different durations (10 min followed by 20 min or 20 min followed by 10 min). Tasks of 3 types (production, discussion, planning) were used, each requiring an essay-type solution. Task products were assessed for both quantity and quality. Measures of group interaction patterns were taken by categorizing a systematic time sample of the comments of group members. Results indicate that groups with a 20-min 1st trial produced products that were higher in both quality and quantity (but not rate) and engaged in proportionally more interpersonal activity during interaction than did groups that had a 10-min 1st trial. Further, those same groups persisted in the same patterns of interaction (and, to a much lesser extent, patterns of task performance) on the 2nd trial, despite changes in the time limit on that latter trial. (24 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)