Stress op afstand monitoren aan de hand van verbale output?

Kun je van een afstand, zonder operators te storen of op wat voor manier dan ook in te grijpen in de operatie, een beeld krijgen van de aanwezigheid van potentieel negatieve stress reacties? Twee giganten op het terrein van presteren onder de hoogste druk (Driskell &Salas) onderzochten dit in het kader van een ‘langdurige ruimtevlucht’. Ze ontwikkelden op basis van een lexicale benadering een ‘woord categorisatie tool’ die spontane verbale output analyseert. Ik laat hierna enkele onderwerpen uit het artikel zien en vraag je tegelijk om zoals altijd het zelf (kritisch) te lezen en vanuit een groei mindset (om er even een term in te gooien) er iets uit te halen wat voor jou werk relevant is.

Wat is stress

The term stress is broadly defined as a process by which certain environmental demands (e.g., stressors such as time pressure, noise, task load) evoke an appraisal process in which perceived demand exceeds resources, and that results in undesirable physiological, psychological, behavioral, or social outcomes (Salas et al., 1996).

Wat zijn de effecten van stress

We propose that there are a limited number of cognitive, emotional, and social mechanisms through which stress impacts performance.  The “Big Five” stress mechanisms include the following.

  • Stress Increases Distraction and Decreases Attentional Focus
  • Stress Increases Cognitive Load and Demand on Capacity
  • Stress Increases Negative Emotions and Frustration
  • Stress Increases Fear and Anxiety
  • Stress Increases Social Impairment

Wat zeggen woorden/taal over stress effecten?

The basic premise of this work is that spontaneous verbal output provides a natural and valid indicator of basic cognitive processes (Pennebaker et al., 2003). Natural word use is not prone to the typical limitations of self-report measurements. That is, natural language use is less subject to social desirability bias, and can be derived in real time without interfering with the cognitive processes being measured, and without interrupting team performance. Moreover, natural word use is reliable and consistent across time and context, and can be meaningfully measured in individuals and teams (Gleser et al., 1959; Mehl & Pennebaker, 2003)

Wat zijn voordelen van deze benadering?

The advantages of this approach are that it is not intrusive, in that it taps into people’s experience without interfering with it. Moreover, it is unobtrusive in that people are not aware they are being observed, and it does not require hanging some device on the individual or disruption of the task. Moreover, there is a reasonable theoretical basis for arguing that words have psychological meaning, and research has documented the value of this approach in various applications, including examining cognitive load and other indices of collaborative communications in bushfire management teams (Khawaja et al., 2012) and analyzing rapport in law enforcement investigative interviews (Driskell et al., 2012).

Wat zijn de aannames in deze benadering?

The first assumption is: the more frequently people use certain words, the more salient this content is to them.

A second assumption is that emotional experience corresponds to verbal emotional expression. That is, the emotions that we express verbally should correspond to the emotions that are actually felt  

A third assumption is that linguistic content and linguistic style are both important. Linguistic content refers to what the speaker is talking about (including psychological content terms related to anger or confusion), whereas style refers to how he or she says it (e.g., whether the speaker refers more to self or to other; whether the speaker uses a large number of qualifiers or negations).

Hoe is de woord tool ontwikkeld?

First, for each facet, such as somatic anxiety, we conducted a review of the extant literature.

Second, we reviewed research that had developed existing measures or scales related to that construct, extracting items or words used to assess that construct. 

Third, we reviewed existing lexical analysis programs, such as the General Inquirer (Stone et al., 1966), LIWC (Pennebaker et al., 2007), SenseNet (Al Masum et al., 2007) and Whissell’s Dictionary of Affect Language (Whissell, 1989), extracting word lists used within these programs to assess these target constructs. 

Fourth, we reviewed our Spaceflight Corpus, which included Johnson Space Center (JSC oral history transcripts and International Space Station (ISS) journals and mission logs in order to extract terms that are unique to the spaceflight environment. 

In the final step, we integrated the results of these searches, deriving comprehensive word lists (such as a list of somatic anxiety terms) for each facet. These lists were reviewed by a set of judges to eliminate redundancies, expand the lists using online thesauri and related tools, and then determine what words should be included or excluded from each word list, resolving disagreements to achieve 100% agreement. Following this standard procedure, we derived the following STRESSnet dimensions and associated facets.

Voorbeeld van een deel van het lexicon

In het kort

  • There are many high-demand settings in which it is valuable to monitor the potential negative effects of stress on operational personnel.
  • We describe a methodological approach to track stress effects in high-demand environments in an unobtrusive manner, without interfering with or disrupting ongoing performance.
  • The resultant tool, STRESSnet, provides an unobtrusive means to evaluate ongoing task communications at the individual and team level in order to assess cognitive/emotional states such as workload, negative affect, attentional focus, anxiety, and team orientation. 


Driskell, T., Salas, E., Burke, C. S., & Driskell, J. E. (2021). A Lexical Approach to Assessing Stress: Development and Proof-of-Concept. Human factors, 187208211045167. Advance online publication.