cognitive burden

What is cognitive burden?


  • Develop a better understanding of Cognitive Burden and how to assess performance through debriefing.

  • Analyse your own Cognitive Burden practice and evaluate other's practice.

Estimated time to complete: 80 minutes

Throughout these bite-sized lessons we cannot hope to cover all of the content needed in the depth desired by all readers. The intention is to cover some core principles and flag key papers which can be used as springboards for your personal development.

Next steps:

Well, that depends on who you ask and the context which you're looking at it from.

Key points to look for when debriefing include:

  • Did participants identify and address and non-essential factors which may have impacted on their ability to complete the task at hand?

  • What strategies could participants use to address 'information overload' / noise / stress and the impact these have on decision making abilities?

  • (Consider reading about: The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two)

further learning

Common sense states distractions and challenging cognitive load can impact performance and an example of this assessed during a simulation is available here.

An example of how cognitive load can be impacted by emotional states is available in this paper.

When designing simulations, it is worth considering how much information is too much in terms of the cognitive load experienced by participants within the pre-brief, scenario and debrief - a review of this can be found here.

Learning debriefing is a challenge at the best of times, managing your cognitive load during simulations is a challenge and this paper suggests some strategies on how be manage this.

This article shows how to consider your own cognitive load during scenarios and debriefing by getting help from technicians.

One tool to assessed "worked-out" cognitive load can be found here.

See one paper below and its connected articles for a wider review of the literature:

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