TH-P01-036-interactive - Effects of Interruptions and Noise on Decision Confidence

Work stressors
Interactive Poster Presentation
1 hour 30 minutes
O'Brien Foyer
Employee stress and burnout
Work stressors
Effects of Interruptions and Noise on Decision Confidence
M. Syndicus 1,*, B. Wiese 1
1RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany
Content: Purpose
Noise and interruptions are two of the most prevalent stressors in workplace settings (Frontczak et al., 2012; Trafton & Monk, 2007). Although impairments of, for instance, concentration and vigilance have been well documented, the potential influence of these stressors on more complex mental operations of judgment and decision making remains to be investigated. We assume that the presence of objective stressors decreases decision confidence, which, in turn, might increase perceived stress.
In the noise experiment (between-group), participants perform the “Interval Production Task” (Langnickel & Zeisberger, 2016) while office noise is presented via headphones. In the interruption experiment, participants will perform an office-related primary task (data entry). The Interval Production Task is used as a secondary task that represents a form of interruption. Pre- and post-measures of stress and affect will be collected as well as various control variables (e.g., noise sensitivity or ambiguity tolerance).
Both experiments are ongoing. t-Test comparisons and moderation analysis will be conducted.
Generalization to non-student samples and field conditions remains to be tested.  
Originality and Practical Implications
Although persons who work under stress might not necessarily differ from persons working under less stressful conditions regarding their actual judgments and decisions, they might be less confident in their decisional ratings. Dissatisfaction with judgments and decisions, in turn, could result in increased stress perceptions at the workplace. Whenever employees face important decisions, objective workplace stressors should be monitored to prevent this dissatisfaction and maladaptive backfiring mechanisms.


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