The long arm of time pressure at work: Cognitive failure and commuting near-accidents

Elfering, Achim; Grebner, Simone; De Tribolet-Hardy, Fanny (2013). The long arm of time pressure at work: Cognitive failure and commuting near-accidents. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 22(6), pp. 737-749. Taylor & Francis 10.1080/1359432X.2012.704155

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This study tests whether cognitive failures mediate effects of work-related time pressure and time control on commuting accidents and near-accidents. Participants were 83 employees (56% female) who each commuted between their regular place of residence and place of work using vehicles. The Workplace Cognitive Failure Scale (WCFS) asked for the frequency of failure in memory function, failure in attention regulation, and failure in action execution. Time pressure and time control at work were assessed by the Instrument for Stress Oriented Task Analysis (ISTA). Commuting accidents in the last 12 months were reported by 10% of participants, and half of the sample reported commuting near-accidents in the last 4 weeks. Cognitive failure significantly mediated the influence of time pressure at work on near-accidents even when age, gender, neuroticism, conscientiousness, commuting duration, commuting distance, and time pressure during commuting were controlled for. Time control was negatively related to cognitive failure and neuroticism, but no association with commuting accidents or near-accidents was found. Time pressure at work is likely to increase cognitive load. Time pressure might, therefore, increase cognitive failures during work and also during commuting. Hence, time pressure at work can decrease commuting safety. The result suggests a reduction of time pressure at work should improve commuting safety.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Work and Organisational Psychology

UniBE Contributor:

Elfering, Achim and Grebner, Simone


100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology




Taylor & Francis




Madeleine Hussmann-Schacher

Date Deposited:

25 Apr 2014 08:54

Last Modified:

26 Oct 2015 10:48

Publisher DOI:





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