System Response Time as a Stressor in a Digital World: Literature Review and Theoretical Model

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingsConference contributionpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


The time delay between a user’s initiation of a command on a digital device (e.g., desktop computer, tablet, smartphone) and the system’s task completion, including the display of the result on the screen, is referred to as system response time (SRT). This specific system property has been the object of study since the 1960s, predominantly in the field of human-computer interaction. In most usage scenarios, SRT ranges from milliseconds to several minutes, and SRT is a function of various factors, including technical system capabilities such as processing power. One would assume that technological progress has reduced the relevance of investigations into the physiological and stress-inducing effects of long and/or variable SRT. However, as a result of the ever increasing complexity of information systems and digital devices, SRT is still a significant stressor in today’s society. One could even argue that, due to the ubiquity of digital devices in almost every corner of life and the resulting frequent human-computer interactions, the relevance of SRT as a topic in scientific research and practice has even increased in the last years. Against this background, the present article conceptualizes SRT as a stressor in a digital world, reviews major research results, and, based on that review, develops a theoretical model. This model is intended to guide future research on SRT.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHCI in Business, Government, and Organizations - 5th International Conference, HCIBGO 2018, Held as Part of HCI International 2018, Proceedings
EditorsBo Sophia Xiao, Fiona Fui-Hoon Nah
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-91715-3
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventHCI International (HCII 2018) - Las Vegas, United States
Duration: 15 Jul 201820 Jul 2018

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume10923 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


ConferenceHCI International (HCII 2018)
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityLas Vegas
Internet address


  • Digital stress
  • NeuroIS
  • Response time
  • Stress
  • Technostress


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