Effects of age and experience on mental workload for computer tasks

Sankaran N. Nair, Didrik W. Hoag, Dwayne C. Leonard, Joseph Sharit, Sara J. Czaja

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This study examined the influence of age and experience on mental workload for three computer tasks. Three hundred and forty-five subjects, ranging in age from 20 yrs.-75 yrs., performed one of three computer tasks over a three day period. The tasks included: data entry, database inquiry, and accounts balancing. The data indicated significant main effects of days and task and significant task x days and age x days interactions. Overall, ratings of workload decreased with experience on the task and the participants perceived higher workload for the accounts balancing task as compared to the other two tasks. The effects of experience varied across the three tasks and according to age. Ratings of workload decreased over time for the database inquiry and accounts balancing tasks; there was no change for the data entry task. With respect to age, the data indicated that ratings of workload declined with experience for the younger and middle-aged participants but not for the older subjects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-143
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society
StatePublished - Dec 1 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics


Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of age and experience on mental workload for computer tasks'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this