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Mara Bialas


Safety Last? Making Decisions when Mentally Fatigued


In this Ph.D. project, we focus on the lack of safety behavior in organizations, especially in the case of digital security. With increasingly complex task sets and demanding safety protocols, the modern workplace might introduce new risk factors to digital security and safety. One risk factor that has become increasingly relevant is mental fatigue, a feeling of mental exhaustion after prolonged mental activity. However, the relationship between mental fatigue and deciding to act safely in the workplace still needs to be clarified. Against the background of this societal problem, we examine the link between mental fatigue and decision-making in two ways. Our first focus is on the contribution of mental fatigue to decisions when rules do not exist. Second, we assess the role of mental fatigue when rules are in place. By focusing on these two decision pathways, we aim to determine whether and how people's decision-making processes change and shift after a period of demanding mental work. In the long term, this project will help organizations better understand and potentially mitigate mental fatigue's effect on safety.


Prof. dr. ir. Wolter Pieters, dr. Erik Bijleveld, dr. Daniela Becker