There is a growing consensus in the human factors/ergonomics community that human factors research has had little impact on significant applied problems. Some have suggested that the problem lies in the fact that much HF/E research has been based on the wrong type of psychology, an information processing view of psychology that is reductionistic and context-free. Ecological psychology offers a viable alternative, presenting a richer view of human behavior that is holistic and contextualized. The papers presented in these two volumes show the conceptual impact that ecological psychology can have on HF/E, as well as presenting a number of specific examples illustrating the ecological approach to human-machine systems. It is the first collection of papers that explicitly draws a connection between these two fields. While work in this area is only just beginning, the evidence available suggests that taking an ecological approach to human factors/ergonomics helps bridge the existing gap between basic research and applied problems.
"It contains 12 chapters that, in general,tackle theoretical problems in human-machine systems. Because the contributors are active researchers, they are able to present both the conceptual issues and actual examples of ecological principles in solving design problems."
Contents: Preface. J.M. Flach, The Ecology of Human-Machine Systems: A Personal History. P.A. Hancock, M.H. Chignell, On Human Factors. K.J. Vicente, A Few Implications of an Ecological Approach to Human Factors. A. Kirlik, Requirements for Psychological Models to Support Design: Toward Ecological Task Analysis. J. Rasmussen, A.M. Pejtersen, Virtual Ecology of Work. D.D. Woods, Toward a Theoretical Base for Representation Design in the Computer Medium: Ecological Perception and Aiding Human Cognition. J.M. Flach, R. Warren, Active Psychophysics: The Relation Between Mind and What Matters. W.H. Warren, Jr., Constructing an Econiche. B.S. Zaff, Designing with Affordances in Mind. M.J. Dainoff, L.S. Mark, Use of a Means-End Abstraction Hierarchy to Conceptualize the Ergonomic Design of Workplaces. R.E. Shaw, O.M. Flascher, E.E. Kadar, Dimensionless Invariants for Intentional Systems: Measuring the Fit of Vehicular Activities to Environmental Layout. G.P. Bingham, M.M. Muchisky, "Center of Mass Perception": Affordances as Dispositions by Dynamics.