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information overload
mental overload
mediacommunication space
information society

How to Cite



Among the variety of synonymously similar scientific concepts used in psychological research (cognitive overload, sensory overload, knowledge overload, information fatigue syndrome, cognitive information load, information overload, cognitive load), we chose the concept of “information overload” for categorical analysis, because it defines the most holistically and complete the corresponding psychological phenomenon, meaningfully reflecting and naming significant realities. The essential signs of this phenomenon are: the external one – “what caused the state of tension” (informational message) – and the internal one - “what mental state appears as a result” (overload). Information overload is defined as a state of an individual’s mental stress caused by received excessive information messages; this excessiveness is experienced subjectively as a stressful situation associated with worsened efficiency of the individual’s cognitive mental processes and causes a mental protective blocking of high-quality deep intellectual processing of incoming information and its transformation into full-fledged personal knowledge.

In the context of multi-sensory perception by a media consumer of modern informational sources, two processes are important: coding by an addressee and decoding by an addressee of an information message; accordingly, in the process of media-perceptual communication, information overload becomes a barrier to knowledge formation by an individual perceiving certain information flows.

The content and nature of information overload as a psychological phenomenon is revealed in the measurement of the four aspects we have identified: cognitive, behavioral, emotional-motivational and competence.

At the cognitive aspect, information overload is considered in the context of an individual's cognitive activities, affected by the functional limitations of cognitive processes (perception, attention, memory, thinking), and is determined through an individual's cognitive style.

At the psychological dimension of the behavioral aspect, information overload is interpreted as a way for mass consciousness manipulating with the political or consumer-related context for individuals’ behavior modeling, in particular, during decision making.

At the emotional-motivational aspect, information overload is defined as the emotional state of mental stress associated with unexpected and unfavorable informational influences, accompanied by a deterioration of an individual’s professional efficiency.

At the psychological dimension of the competence-based aspect, information overload is interpreted as a psychological threat to an individual’s mental health and is defined as underdeveloped media literacy, as a result of used ineffective strategies by a media consumer in modern mediacommunication. As for counteraction, it is necessary to form media literacy of information consumers, increase their personal self-efficacy.
PDF 18-29 (Українська)


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