The Influence of Task Interruption on Individual Decision Making: An Information Overload Perspective

The Influence of Task Interruption on Individual Decision Making: An Information Overload... Interruptions are a common aspect of the work environment of most organizations. Yet little is known about how interruptions and their characteristics, such as frequency of occurrence, influence decision‐making performance of individuals. Consequently, this paper reports the results of two experiments investigating the influence of interruptions on individual decision making. Interruptions were found to improve decision‐making performance on simple tasks and to lower performance on complex tasks. For complex tasks, the frequency of interruptions and the dissimilarity of content between the primary and interruption tasks was found to exacerbate this effect. The implications of these results for future research and practice are discussed. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Decision Sciences Wiley

The Influence of Task Interruption on Individual Decision Making: An Information Overload Perspective

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 1999 Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
ISSN
0011-7315
eISSN
1540-5915
D.O.I.
10.1111/j.1540-5915.1999.tb01613.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Interruptions are a common aspect of the work environment of most organizations. Yet little is known about how interruptions and their characteristics, such as frequency of occurrence, influence decision‐making performance of individuals. Consequently, this paper reports the results of two experiments investigating the influence of interruptions on individual decision making. Interruptions were found to improve decision‐making performance on simple tasks and to lower performance on complex tasks. For complex tasks, the frequency of interruptions and the dissimilarity of content between the primary and interruption tasks was found to exacerbate this effect. The implications of these results for future research and practice are discussed.

Journal

Decision SciencesWiley

Published: Mar 1, 1999

Keywords: ; ;

References

  • The effect of information load on decision makers' cue utilization levels and decision quality in a financial distress decision task
    Chewning, E. G.; Harrell, A. M.
  • User perceptions of decision support effectiveness: Two production planning experiments
    Davis, F. D.; Kotterman, J. E.
  • Manual for kit of factor‐referenced cognitive tests
    Ekstrom, R. B.; French, J. W.; Harmon, H. H.; Dermen, D.
  • Structuring computer mediated communications to avoid information overload
    Hiltz, S. R.; Turoff, M.
  • A comparative study of how experts and novices use a decision aid to solve problems in complex knowledge domains
    Mackay, J. M.; Elam, J. J.
  • On data‐limited and resource‐limited processes
    Normon, D. A.; Bobrow, D. G.
  • Managerial communication patterns
    Panko, R. R.

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