Introduction to Human Factors: Applying Psychology to Design


Increasing the safety of transportation systems, developing safer toys for children, making business processes more efficient, and reducing the challenges faced by individuals with disabilities are just a few examples of how human factors can benefit society. Traditionally, human factors has focused on designing tools and devices that are safer while also reducing the stress on the body, designing interfaces for pilots and drivers that are more intuitive and easier to use, and applying results in a military environment; however, the applications of human factors reach far beyond these settings. Whether you intend to be a nurse, teacher, pilot, engineer, or human factors specialist, familiarity with human factors and ergonomics principles can benefit you in your professional and personal life. The purpose of this book is to familiarize students with the field of human factors and ergonomics that impacts so many aspects of their personal and professional lives. Human factors training has been offered almost exclusively at the graduate level; however, we feel there is a need for a textbook aimed at undergraduates that exposes them to the field of human factors and how human factors is relevant to their school, home, leisure, and work environments.

We believe there is a need for a comprehensive, yet accessible, undergraduate text on human factors. Although there are a few undergraduate human factors texts available, our intent was to write a book that would be broadly accessible even to students who are not undergraduate psychology majors. Additionally, we sought to write a book that could be used by an instructor in departments that do not have a graduate program in human factors. A comprehensive text covering the breadth of the field of human factors would be a valuable resource for these instructors.

To expand our reach to a greater number of undergraduate students, we wrote this junior/senior level introductory, but comprehensive, text such that the only prerequisite would be introductory psychology. Although the typical student in a human factors course majors in psychology or engineering, students from many other majors and colleges (e.g., social work, education, and business) will find the possible applications of the material to a variety of settings useful.


Psychological Science


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  • Includes opening vignette which present real world events to introduce the chapter topic
  • Offers critical thinking questions at the end of each pedagogical box that explores a topic or circumstance
  • Uses everyday, real world events, as well as military and aviation applications
  • Introduces students to the cutting-edge field of human factors psychology
  • Presents an approach that uses major theories, principles, concepts, and methodologies that offer an overview of the breadth of the field of human factors

Keywords and Phrases

Human factors; Ergonomics; Human engineering

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Table of Contents

  • Introduction to Human Factors
  • Research Methods
  • Visual, Tactile, and Olfactory Displays
  • Audition and Vestibular Function
  • Methods of Evaluation
  • Attention, Memory and Multi-Tasking
  • Decision Making
  • Motor Skills and Control
  • Anthropometry and Biomechanics
  • Environmental Design
  • Human Error
  • Future Trends in Human Factors


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Publication Date

01 Sep 2017