HUMAN FACTORS PSYCHOLOGY - often involves Industrial/Organizational psychologists (I/O Psych) as well as cognitive and social psychologists AND human factors engineers. It is also known as engineering psychology.


How can products be made more effective for human use - considering the predisposition to error humans have? Product development, usability testing, safety testing, and marketing research are now based in human factors science.

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In most textbooks, there is a picture of a stove to describe this type of psychology. An older stove-top like the one pictured left is counterintuitive: That is, the controls for the

burners don't typically match where we think they should go. Turning the first knob, for example, does not necessarily turn on the first burner. HUMAN EXPECTATIONS do not always match results. Manufacturers believed consumers would turn to the manual to learn which knob is which, but this is unrealistic in a kitchen.

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Thanks to D. Willingham for images - http://www.danielwillingham.com/1/archives/02-2012/1.html
Thanks to D. Willingham for images - http://www.danielwillingham.com/1/archives/02-2012/1.html
Today, human factors psychology has influenced the improvement of stove-top labels and many other items including surgery operating rooms and nuclear plant control rooms.




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What other industries does HUMAN FACTORS psychology seem CRITICAL?



SURGERY ROOMS, MEDICAL EQUIPMENT
FDA requires usability testing to test efficacy and safety of medical devices.
Defibrillators
Defibrillators



NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS
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Human factors failure was one reason for Three Mile Island nuclear accident in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. An operator in the room misread one of the lights on the control board - which was invalid during an emergency situation.
President Jimmy Carter visiting nuclear power plant in PA after accident in 1979.
President Jimmy Carter visiting nuclear power plant in PA after accident in 1979.
The boots are to be sure no one carried a dust-borne radioactive isotope out of the plant.
The boots are to be sure no one carried a dust-borne radioactive isotope out of the plant.


































At Wichita State University, one can major in human factors psychology and the graduate program offers MANY laboratories to study. One of the labs is called the "Software Usability Research Lab/SURL" where the efficacy of technology is tested.
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Use this website to see a faulty product.

HUMAN FACTORS PSYCHOLOGY


GO TO
http://www.baddesigns.com/examples.html

Describe 1-2 bad designs and how psychologists suggest ways to improve.






Want to learn more?
"Father" of human factors - studied how to make the telephone easier to use - John E. Karlin
Wichita State University Human Factors Psychology page
Read an article on Safety & Design provided by the APA, American Psychological Association
HOT Careers - Video Game Design
Human Factors, Ergonomics
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More careers in psychology Careers or APAcareerpage