PSY57700 - Human Factors in Engineering

Fall 2015

Days/Time: MWF / TBA
Credit Hours: 3

Learning Objective:
To learn the principles, assumptions, and methods on which the discipline of Human Factors is based; the systems engineering approach and implications for human factors; types of human error and the factors that influence their likelihood; facts and theories regarding human perception, cognition, action and their implications for design; anthropometric and biomechanical factors to be taken into account when designing for human use; influences of the physical and social environment on human perception and performance in various contexts; specific methods for evaluating usability of alternative designs; steps for implementing human factors and ergonomics programs within organizations. At the end of the course you should know why human factors analysis are needed, what types of factors must be considered for specific design problems, and the techniques that are available to make informed choices among alternative designs.

Note:this course is co-listed with IE57700 which is also offered this semester. The IE section counts toward engineering credits for degree-seeking students whereas the PSY section would be non-engineering.
The course provides a survey of Human Factors and Ergonomics with particular reference to human functions in human-machine systems. We consider basic human capabilities and the ways that these capabilities are taken into account in the design of human-machine and work environments.

Topics Covered:
Historical Foundations of Human Factors and Ergonomics; Human Factors Research Methods; Human Error and Reliability Analysis; Human Information Processing; Psychophysical Methods; Signal Detection Theory and Chronometric Methods; Vision, Audition, and the Other Senses; Color Vision; Perceptual Organization; Depth Perception, Motion Perception, and Pattern Recognition; Static Visual Displays; Dynamic Visual Displays; Auditory and Tactual Displays; Attention; Mental Workload Assessment; Memory Stores; Processing Strategies and Communication; Situation Awareness; Problem Solving and Reasoning; Decision Making and Decision Aids; Skill Acquisition and Expertise; Expert Systems; Response Selection; Principles of Display-Control Compatibility; Control of Movement and Acquisition/Retention of Motor Skill; Types of Controls and Their Features; Control Panels; Engineering Anthropometry; Cumulative Trauma Disorders; Workspace Design; Lighting, Noise, Vibration and Temperature; Psychological Stress; Macroergonomics and Human Resource Management; The Practice of Human Factors.

Knowledge of basic algebra and some familiarity with probability and statistics.

Applied/Theory: 50/50

Web Address:

Web Content:
Syllabus, grades, homework assignments, and slides.

Homework projects will be assigned in class each week. Most will be due the following week. The cumulative grade for the projects will be the equivalent of an exam grade. Homework will be submitted through the course site on Blackboard.


Two midterms and a final. Course grade is based on 3 exams, each covering a third of the course.

Official textbook information is now listed in the Schedule of Classes. NOTE: Textbook information is subject to be changed at any time at the discretion of the faculty member. If you have questions or concerns please contact the academic department.
Required--R. W. Proctor and T. Van Zandt, "Human Factors in Simple and Complex Systems", 2nd ed. Published by CRC Press, 2008. ISBN 0805841199.

Computer Requirements:
ProEd minimum computer requirements.

ProEd Minimum Requirements: view

Tuition & Fees: view


T. B. D.
West Lafayette, IN 47907

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