Anspannung: Introduction to concept and quantification of mental strain exemplified on data taken in five countries

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In Dükers action theory Anspannung, which we translated as “psychological tension” (PT), is described as a directly experienced valid indicator for the extent of mental strain. In German-speaking regions the Category Partitioning technique (CP) has proven to be a useful method for accurately quantifying the experienced PT. Outside Germany, however, the concept of PT and the CP technique for measuring it have found little resonance, as it seemed that the central terms could not be meaningfully translated into English. To challenge these language barriers, test the applicability and usefulness of the PT concept, and evaluate the CP scaling method, we used the CP technique to quantify the level of PT required by 32 imagined everyday situations. To do this we adapted descriptions of the everyday situations from the German into English, Japanese, Korean, and Mandarin Chinese, and enrolled N = 158 participants from five countries (Canada, Germany, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan). The results show a remarkable agreement between the data collected in the five cohorts. The experimental data point to the universality of the experience of mental load in culturally and linguistically diverse societies. They also point to the need to design scaling techniques so that respondents can describe their immediate sensations as they would in everyday life.

OriginalspracheEnglisch
Aufsatznummer100098
ZeitschriftMethods in Psychology
Jahrgang7
Anzahl der Seiten10
ISSN2590-2601
DOIs
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 01.12.2022

Bibliographische Notiz

Funding Information:
PT was also important for the granting of the operating license for high-speed trains (ICE) in Germany. A prerequisite for journeys at speeds of 300 km/h or more is that the strain caused by the trains passing at a distance of about 1.5 m does not cause any risk to the health of the technicians working on the track. Reactions were studied under double blind conditions for speeds of 200 km/h, 280 km/h, and 300 km/h. As indicators for mental strain, PT-scaling as well as recordings of heart rate, inter-beat-intervals, finger pulse amplitude, respiratory rate and variation, EMG of the musculus trapezius, and monitoring the immunoglobulin A concentration in saliva. None of the physiological parameters was sensitive enough to detect differences between conditions. The PT-values, however, showed such a high sensitivity that, in addition to the speed-dependent differences, the course of the pass-by could also be mapped as shown in Fig. 3 (Müller et al., 2003).Thanks to the Japan Society for the Promotion of Sciences for financial support of the presented study. LMW was supported by NSERC of Canada and SM was supported by a JSPS Grant-in-Aid for Challenging Research (Exploratory), No.20K20666. Some parts of this study were presented at the Fechner Day 2013 in Freiburg, Germany (Müller et al. 2013) and the International Congress of Psychology 2016) in Yokohama, Japan (Sakaki et al. 2016).

Funding Information:
Thanks to the Japan Society for the Promotion of Sciences for financial support of the presented study. LMW was supported by NSERC of Canada and SM was supported by a JSPS Grant-in-Aid for Challenging Research (Exploratory) , No. 20K20666 . Some parts of this study were presented at the Fechner Day 2013 in Freiburg, Germany ( Müller et al., 2013 ) and the International Congress of Psychology 2016) in Yokohama, Japan ( Sakaki et al., 2016 ).

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