What is Human Factors and Ergonomics (HF/E)?
- Ergonomics (or human factors) is the scientific discipline concerned with the understanding of interactions among humans and other elements of a system, and the profession that applies theory, principles, data and methods to design in order to optimize human well-being and overall system performance. Ergonomists contribute to the design and evaluation of tasks, jobs, products, environments and systems in order to make them compatible with the needs, abilities and limitations of people.
- Human Factors is concerned with the application of what we know about people, their abilities, characteristics, and limitations to the design of equipment they use, environments in which they function, and jobs they perform.
- The Human Factors and Ergonomics Society is dedicated to the betterment of humankind through the scientific inquiry into and application of those principles that relate to the interface of humans with their natural, residential, recreational, and vocational environments and the procedures, practices, and design considerations that increase a human’s performance and safety at those interfaces.
Human Factors is a multidisciplinary field incorporating contributions from: psychology, cognitive science, engineering, industrial design, statistics and anthropometry.
Human Factors psychologists examine: virtual environments, simulators, biometrics, anthropometrics, usability, cognitive workload and situation awareness, the impact of stressors and fatigue on performance, human computer interaction (HCI), human machine interaction (HMI), automation and integration of autonomous system attributes, display and interface configuration and optimization, motion induced interruptions, etc.
You can read more about current advances in Human Factors research in any Human Factors publication.
Human Factors Blogroll
The Daily Human Factor – David Kidd, Peter Squire, and David Cades
The Human Factor Advocate – Eric Shaver
Human Factors – Marc Resnick
The Human Factors Blog - Richard Pak and Anne Collins McLaughlin
What is Industrial/Organizational Psychology (I-O)?
The Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychology definition of I-O Psychology:
The scientific study of the workplace. Rigor and methods of psychology are applied to issues of critical relevance to business, including talent management, coaching, assessment, selection, training, organizational development, performance, and work-life balance. I-O psychologists are experts in understanding and developing systems for hiring, motivating, training, and understanding people at work. They develop tests, promotion systems, and surveys. They engage in coaching, team building, survey analysis, job analysis, organization design, etc. The products and programs they create will often have a significant impact on the people in an organization and may impact the performance of the organization.
I am more concerned with the”I” side of I/O: Training, personnel selection, and individual knowledge, skills, abilities, personality (KSAOs). I also do research on leadership in distributed teams, which is part of the “O” side.
What is Human Systems Integration (HSI)?
HSI involves interdisciplinary systems engineering processes and procedures for proactively integrating two or more HSI domains during design, acquisition, and life cycle support of systems to maximize total system performance. HSI domains include: Human Factors, Training, Manpower, Personnel, Environmental Safety, Occupational Health, Survivability, and Habitability.
HSI is a policy-based approach within an organization designed to optimize trade-offs within the HSI domains, especially between cost and performance. In contrast, Human Factors is a scientific-based discipline focusing on the user of a system.
Find out more about my work on LinkedIn.