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Cognitive Engineering PSYC 530 Introduction to Human Factors and Cognitive Engineering. Raja Parasuraman. Introduction: History of Human Factors The Systems Approach. DATES. Test 1: September 18 (take home) Test 1 due: September 25 Test 2: October 23 (in class)

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Cognitive engineering psyc 530 introduction to human factors and cognitive engineering l.jpg

CognitiveEngineeringPSYC 530Introduction to Human Factors and Cognitive Engineering

Raja Parasuraman

Introduction history of human factors the systems approach l.jpg

Introduction:History of Human FactorsThe Systems Approach

Dates l.jpg

  • Test 1: September 18 (take home)

  • Test 1 due: September 25

  • Test 2: October 23 (in class)

  • Last date for approval of topic for class presentation and term paper due: November 6.

  • Class presentations: November 13, 20, and 27.

  • Last class: December 4

  • Term paper due: December 10

Overview l.jpg

  • What this course is about

  • What this course is not about

  • Course objectives

  • Topics

    • History of Human Factors

    • The Systems Approach

Terms terms terms l.jpg
Terms, Terms, Terms……!

  • Engineering Psychology

  • Applied-Experimental Psychology

  • Human Performance Engineering

  • Human Factors

  • Ergonomics

  • Cognitive Ergonomics

  • Cognitive Engineering

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Professional Societies

  • Applied-Experimental and Engineering Psychology (Division 21, American Psychological Association)

    • Journal: Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (USA)

    • Journals: Human Factors, Ergonomics in Design, Journal of Cognitive Engineering

  • Ergonomics Society (UK)

    • Journal: Ergonomics; Applied Ergonomics

  • International Ergonomics Association (IEA)

  • ACM Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction (SIG-CHI)

    • Journal: CHI Proceedings

  • IEEE Systems, Man, and Cybernetics Society

    • Journal: IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, Part A.Systems and Humans

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What this course is about

  • Provides a basic background on the role of human cognitive capabilities and limitations in the design of products, work places, and large systems.

  • The course emphasizes theories and findings on human performance, rather than the design of systems per se.

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What this course is NOT about

  • A course in cognitive engineering design

  • A basic course in cognitive psychology

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Engineering Psychology vs. Human Factors vs. Experimental Psychology

“The aim of engineering psychology is not simply to compare two possible designs for a piece of equipment [which is the role of human factors], but to specify the capacities and limitations of the human [generate an experimental data base] from which the choice of a better design should be directly deducible.” (Poulton, 1966)

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Why this Course is Not Human Factors Design Psychology

Boeing 777 Flight Deck

Designing a safe and

efficient automated cockpit

Successful design may involve

the application of human performance principles, but

not necessarily their discovery

Designing a safe and

usable infusion pump

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Why this Course is Not Cognitive Psychology Psychology



Inferred Information

Processing Components

“The Machinery of the Mind”

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Why this Course is Not Cognitive Neuroscience Psychology



“Peering into the Black Box”

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Because Minds and Brains are “Situated”—in a Body Psychologyand Environment with Artifacts and Tools—Hence Cognitive Engineering

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Why this Course is Not Cognitive Psychology Psychologyor Cognitive Neuroscience

Successful cognitive psychology or cognitive

neuroscience may involve the discovery of

principles, but with no requirement to

apply those principles or to ensure that

they describe phenomena outside the laboratory

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Neuroergonomics PsychologyUsing Brain Function to Enhance Human Performance in Complex Systems

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Neuro-Ergonomics Psychology

The scientific study of brain mechanisms and psychological and physical functions of humans in relation to technology, work, and environments

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Course Objectives Psychology

  • Understand the major cognitive theories and empirical findings in several domains of human performance

  • Examine the role of these theories in modern human-machine systems

  • Understand how human performance theories can improve design and enhance training

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Topics Psychology

  • History of human factors and the systems approach

  • Allocation of function

  • Signal detection

  • Vigilance

  • Attention, perception, and displays

  • Memory

  • Decision making

  • Attention and mental workload

  • Human performance in automated systems

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Resources Psychology

  • Books—General

    • Wickens and Hollands (2000), Engineering Psychology and Human Performance

    • Salvendy (1997), Handbook of Human Factors & Ergonomics, 2nd, Edition.

    • Wickens, Gordon, & Liu (1998), Introduction to Human Factors Engineering.

    • Matthews et al. (2000), Human Performance

    • Gawron (2000), Human Performance Measures Handbook

    • Proctor and Van Zandt (1994) Human Factors in Simple and Complex Systems

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Resources Psychology

  • Books—Specific

    • Vicente (1999), Cognitive Work Analysis

    • Vicente (2004), The Human Factor

    • Norman (1999), The Invisible Computer

    • Parasuraman and Mouloua (1996), Automation and Human Performance

    • Sheridan (2002), Humans and Automation

    • Sarter and Amelberti (2000), Cognitive Engineering in the Aviation Domain

    • Wickens et al. (1998), The Future of Air Traffic Control

    • Backs and Boucsein (2000), Engineering Psychophysiology

    • Parasuraman and Rizzo (2007), Neuroergonomics: The Brain at Work

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Resources Psychology

  • Journals—Main

    • Human Factors

    • Ergonomics

    • Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied

    • CHI Proceedings

    • HFES Proceedings

    • Theoretical Issues in Ergonomics Science

  • Journals—Secondary

    • International Journal of Aviation Psychology

    • International Journal of Cognitive Ergonomics

    • International Journal of Human-Computer Studies

    • Applied Ergonomics

    • Applied Cognitive Psychology

    • Ergonomics in Design

    • IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, & Cybernetics: Part A. Systems and Humans

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Resources Psychology

  • A Few Web Sites

    • Human Factors and Ergonomics Society:

    • ACM Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction:

    • University of Illinois, Institute of Aviation:

    • Bad Human Factors Designs:

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A final recommendation ………. PsychologyPlease Google with care! It’s a rough, often unreliable, flaky, sometimes downright fraudulent web world out there!

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Historical Overview Psychology

  • 1890’s - 1920’s

    • Time-and-motion studies

    • Taylor’s “scientific management”

      • Use time and motion analysis to determine the most efficient method for performing each component task in a job

      • Link employee compensation to a piece-rate system (to maximize employee work effort)

      • Select and train employees based on a their skills, intelligence, and personality

    • Mass production and the assembly line

    • Industrial safety

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The PsychologyHuman in Human Factors: Historical Views

1890-1920: A Cog in the Wheel

F. W. Taylor’s Scientific Management

Modern Times, by

Charlie Chaplin

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Historical Overview (contd.) Psychology

  • 1930’s - 1940’s

    • Selection and training

    • Industrial Health Research Board (UK); psychology

    • Army IQ test

    • Job training methods

  • The birth of Industrial/Organizational (I/O) Psychology

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Historical Overview (contd.) Psychology

  • 1940’s-1950’s

  • Problems with military systems--even for skilled, well trained, motivated operators

    • Army: Accidents in using new artillery systems (Broadbent, 1958)

    • Air Force: Aircraft crashes (Fitts & Jones, 1947)

    • Royal Air Force (UK): Airborne radar operators missing U-boat contacts (Mackworth, 1950)

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Historical Overview (contd.) Psychology

  • 1960’s - 1970’s: NASA and the space program

  • 1980’s - present: The personal computer revolution

    • Graphical user interface; mouse (XeroxAppleMicrosoft)

    • Catastrophic accidents involving poor HF design

      • Nuclear power (Three Mile Island, Chernobyl)

      • Aviation (Korean Airlines shooting down, American Airlines Cali accident, etc.)

  • 2000 - : Diversification: from military and space systems to transportation, robotics, consumer products, aging, health care, home automation, etc.

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Key Historical Figures Psychology

F. W. Taylor, USA

1860s - 1910s

Paul Fitts, USA

1950s - 1970s

Michael Posner, USA 1970s - present

Donald Broadbent

UK, 1950s - 1980s

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Key Historical Figures (contd) Psychology

Neville Moray, UK,

Canada, USA

1960s - 2000

Tom Sheridan, USA

1970s - present

Donald Norman, USA

1980s - present

Christopher Wickens, USA

1980s - present

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The Systems Approach Psychology

  • Humans are involved in all aspects of technology

    • Designers

    • Users (operators)

    • Maintenance personnel

  • The successes (and problems) of technology arise not solely from machines (machine failure) or solely from humans (human error), but from the interaction ofhumans and machines (system error)

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Human Psychology









Human-Machine System


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Implications of the Systems Approach Psychology

  • System performance cannot be adequately described by technological factors but requires an analysis of human performance as well.

  • Need a common language and performance metrics to describe (1) human, (2) machine, and (3) human-machine performance.

  • Some common metrics:

    • Cycle time (time and motion)

    • Bandwidth - Hz (information theory)

    • Information transmitted - bits (information theory)

    • Sensitivity (d’) and criterion (ß) (signal detection theory)

  • These and other approaches should be used to match human and machine capabilities and limitations for efficient and safe system performance

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Matching Humans and Machines Psychology

  • I. “Fitting the Machine

    to the Human”: Display

    control, and interface design

  • II. “Fitting the Human

    to the Machine”:

    Selection and training










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Examples of I: Display, Control and Interface Design Psychology

  • Ego-centered vs. exo-centered displays for spatial navigation

  • Voice (auditory) vs. data link (visual) for controller-pilot communications

  • Monitoring for excessive operator workload or fatigue using neuroergonomic measures

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Examples of II: Selection and Training Psychology

  • Selecting for high-performance skills (e.g., Navy pilot)

  • Developing selection tests for new occupations (e.g., checked baggage bomb inspectors)

  • Training special populations (e.g., older adults in ATM usage, or home automation)

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Why Consider Human Factors? Psychology

  • Enhance efficiency (productivity)

  • Ensure safety

  • Assure tasks are within human capability

  • Improve human performance

  • Gain market acceptance

  • Reduce costs (economic, legal, social)