Interruption science as a research field: Towards a taxonomy of interruptions as a foundation for the field

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Interruptions have become ubiquitous in both our personal and professional lives. Accordingly, research on interruptions has also increased steadily over time, and research published in various scientific disciplines has produced different perspectives, fundamental ideas, and conceptualizations of interruptions. However, the current state of research hampers a comprehensive overview of the concept of interruption, predominantly due to the fragmented nature of the existing literature. Reflecting on its genesis in the 1920s and the longstanding research on interruptions, along with recent technological, behavioral, and organizational developments, this paper provides a comprehensive interdisciplinary overview of the various attributes of an interruption, which facilitates the establishment of interruption science as an interdisciplinary research field in the scientific landscape. To obtain an overview of the different interruption attributes, we conducted a systematic literature review with the goal of classifying interruptions. The outcome of our research process is a taxonomy of interruptions, constituting an important foundation for the field. Based on the taxonomy, we also present possible avenues for future research.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1043426
Pages (from-to)1043426
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 22 Mar 2023


  • interruption
  • interruption science
  • interruption taxonomy
  • interruption classifications
  • interruption attributes
  • systematic literature review


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