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Mental Load Test

A project of

Idea and method

What is care work?

“Care work describes the unpaid and paid (re-)productive activities of caring and looking after others. Care work begins with the care of newborns and childbearing, extends to the upbringing, education and care of children, family and professional care and support in the event of illness or disability, to help for self-help, among friends, neighbors and acquaintances, to care for the elderly, care for the dying and care for the grave”. (Almut Schnerring & Sascha Verlan at Following the scientific care debates, we understand care work as synonymous with the term care work as a generic term for all paid and unpaid work that occurs in the household and in the care and nursing of other people. A distinction can be made between direct and supportive care work: Direct care work is that WITH AND AT other people. Supportive care work is done FOR other people. According to care economist Mascha Mandörin (et al.), care work is “life-sustaining, vital activities without which societies would not be able to exist and economic growth would be impossible.” (ibid. 2006: 283).

Who is responsible for Digital Mental Load Test?

What is Mental load?

Mental load refers to the burden of the everyday, invisible responsibilities of organizing household and family in the private sphere, coordinating and mediating in teams in the professional context, and maintaining relationships and absorbing the needs and sensitivities of everyone involved in both spheres ( For example: The person who brings a child to the pediatrician’s appointment is doing care work and helping out. The mental load, however, is borne by the person who, in addition, has researched the doctor and address, has found out about and decided on childhood vaccinations, has reminded the child of the appointment, has made it without it conflicting with other appointments, knows where the vaccination card is and that the child needs an excuse for school swimming the following day. Mental load is cognitive care work.

How does the scoring work?

The tasks listed are weighted according to the frequency with which they need to be performed. Four points are awarded for tasks to be performed daily or more frequently. For weekly tasks, three points are awarded. For monthly tasks, two points are awarded. For annual tasks, one point is awarded. The subdivision into “Do I” and “Remember I” is done in order to map the mental load, i.e. the cognitive care work that takes place in the head, as well.
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