Reference Values and Subscale Patterns for the Task Load Index (TLX): A Meta-Analytic Review

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The Task Load Index (TLX) is the predominant instrument for self-reporting workload. On the basis of a meta-analytic review of 556 studies, this paper supplies reference values for TLX and its six subscales across domains, technologies, regions, and real-life/lab settings. Across domains, TLX spans mean values from 35 for leisure to 56 for manual labor. TLX tends to be driven upward by the subscales of mental demand and effort and downward by the subscales of physical demand and frustration. For technologies, handheld devices are associated with lower TLX, possibly because they are simpler and more task-specific. TLX also varies across regions in that it is higher for studies in Asia than in Europe and North America. This variation is only partly explained by co-variation in domains. Furthermore, TLX is higher and its subscales more inter-correlated when it is studied in real-life rather than lab settings.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021

ID: 255127669