Technostress from a neurobiological perspective: System breakdown increases the stress hormone cortisol in computer users.
R. Riedl, H. Kindermann, A. Auinger, A. Javor - Technostress from a neurobiological perspective: System breakdown increases the stress hormone cortisol in computer users. - Business & Information Systems Engineering, Vol. 4, No. 2, 2012, pp. 61-69
Both scientific research and anecdotal evidence indicate that human-computer interaction
may lead to notable stress perceptions in users. This type of stress is referred to as
technostress. So far, most studies used questionnaires to investigate technostress. In this
article, we draw upon a different conceptual perspective, namely neurobiology, thereby
adding a new theoretical lens to the technostress literature. We report on a laboratory
experiment in which we investigated the effects of system breakdown on changes in users’
levels of cortisol, which is a major stress hormone in humans. The results of our study show
that cortisol levels increase significantly as a consequence of system breakdown in a
human-computer interaction task. In demonstrating this effect, our study has major
implications for information and communication technology research, development,
management, and health policy. We argue that future research investigating
human-computer interactions should consider the neurobiological perspective as a
valuable complement to traditional concepts.