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Teachers´ burnout is related to lowered speed and quality for short-term tasks

04-23-2012 05:13 PM CET | Science & Education

Press release from: Pabst Science Publishers

Tuulia Ortner (Berlin) investigated the relation between burnout and performance assessed by computerized, short-term behavioral tasks. She reported in Psychological Test and Assessment Modeling: "Several relations between scales related to exhaustion and task performance were revealed; significant relations were shown for scores representing working speed in a situation involving hindrance of scheduled course of action, the quality of solved tasks in a situation with two colliding tasks, and the quality in a situation with awkward working conditions in terms of dealing with computer troubles.

Comparing differences between teachers who had reported a status characterized as the Burnout type (i.e., scale characteristics including reduced involvement combined with limited capacity for dissociation from work-related problems, a strong tendency toward resignation, reduced mental resilience with regard to pressure and strains, and limited enjoyment of life) with persons describing themselves as healthy, led to equivalent re-sults: Lower speed when hindered in their scheduled course of action as well as a lower quality of task effort under awkward working conditions were shown.

The results therefore indicate lowered performance in terms of speed as well as lowered quality of task solution in a state classified as burnout. Interestingly, and this serves as one of the most revealing results of this study, although teachers’ performance in a state of burnout was impaired, they did not abort the tasks earlier (represented by the PHP and PTB scores) significantly more often than healthy persons. In this study, teachers showing experience patterns related to burnout continued working on tests, which they could choose to end anytime, for as long as healthy persons, although they carried out the tasks with diminished quality.

This result is also interesting from another aspect of interpretation: In the case of intentionally faking bad, for example, in the case of an application for early retirement, task abortion would have been a way for test takers to make an obvious display of individual exhaustion. As there was no difference shown, these results can be cautiously interpreted as burnout resulting in commitment under lowered quality rather than in an increased rate of giving up."

Psychological Test and Assessment Modeling 1(2012.

Pabst Science Publishers (Lengerich/Westfalia, Germany) is publishing ten psychological and nine medical journals; furthermore, Pabst is publishing more than hundred psychological and medical books per year – partly specialized scientific literature, partly specialist literature written for laypeople.

Pabst Science Publishers
Eichengrund 28
49525 Lengerich
Tel. 05484-308
Fax 05484-550

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