Human Factors Engineering and Ergonomics: A Systems Approach, Second Edition, 2nd Edition (Paperback) book cover

Human Factors Engineering and Ergonomics

A Systems Approach, Second Edition, 2nd Edition

By Stephen J. Guastello

CRC Press

501 pages | 194 B/W Illus.

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Although still true to its original focus on the person–machine interface, the field of human factors psychology (ergonomics) has expanded to include stress research, accident analysis and prevention, and nonlinear dynamical systems theory (how systems change over time), human group dynamics, and environmental psychology. Reflecting new developments in the field, Human Factors Engineering and Ergonomics: A Systems Approach, Second Edition addresses a wide range of human factors and ergonomics principles found in conventional and twenty-first century technologies and environments. Based on the author’s thirty years of experience, the text emphasizes fundamental concepts, systems thinking, the changing nature of the person-machine interface, and the dynamics of systems as they change over time.

See What’s New in the Second Edition:

  • Developments in working memory, degrees of freedom in cognitive processes, subjective workload, decision-making, and situation awareness
  • Updated information on cognitive workload and fatigue
  • Additional principles for HFE, networks, multiple person-machine systems, and human-robot swarms
  • Accident analysis and prevention includes resilience, new developments in safety climate, and an update to the inventory of accident prevention techniques and their relative effectiveness
  • Problems in "big data" mining
  • Psychomotor control and its relevance to human-robot systems
  • Navigation in real-world environment
  • Trust in automation and augmented cognition

Computer technology permeates every aspect of the human–machine system, and has only become more ubiquitous since the previous edition. The systems are becoming more complex, so it should stand to reason that theories need to evolve to cope with the new sources of complexity. While many books cover traditional topics and theory, they to not focus on the practical problems students will face in the future. With broad coverage that ranges from physical ergonomics to cognitive aspects of human-machine interaction and includes dynamic approaches to system failure, this book increases the number of methods and analytical tools that are available for the human factors researcher.


"… covers a large number of theoretical, empirical and conceptual themes … The broad focus is supported by the introduction of novel approaches derived from complexity and dynamic systems theory to describing the behavior of human operators and sociotechnical systems thereby increasing the toolbox available for ergonomics and human factors researchers."

—Kjell Ivar Øvergård, Department of Maritime Technology and Innovation, Vestfold University College, Norway

" … a well-organized book, including the most up-to-date research results and summarized a lot of comprehensive qualitative and quantitative research results."

—Dongyuan Debbie Wang, University of North Florida

"… a thorough and well-organized textbook. The focus and approach are relevant to current scholarship and research in the field."

—Robert W. Proctor, Purdue University

"An addition of a separate chapter on 'stress and work performance' is important, particularly given our current times, when so many people are experiencing stress at work, and unfortunately, are unaware of the problem. I also like the idea of a chapter on environmental design. We have always had a focus on microenvironments within the purview of human factors courses, but rarely do you see any mention of macroenvironments."

—Leah Newman, Pennsylvania State University

"The book, in its 2nd edition, revised and enlarged, keeps very nicely on par with the latest technological developments, while emphasizing concepts and systems thinking. From its treatment of cognition and psychological aspects of the senses of vision and audition to the more focused aspects of human-machine interaction presented from a systems perspective, it remains an invaluable manual to help designers in developing more effective and efficient systems."

—Denis A. Coelho and João N.O. Filipe, in the International Journal of Human Factors and Ergonomics

Table of Contents

Introduction to Human Factors and Ergonomics

Entry of Human Factors and Ergonomics

Broader Themes in the Text

Criteria of Human Factors

Discussion Questions

Elements of Human Factors Analysis

Allocation of Function

Human Error and System Reliability

Usability Testing

Communication, Information, and Entropy

System Events Change Over Time

Discussion Questions


Classical Psychophysics

Basic Psychophysical Scaling

Signal Detection Theory

Fuzzy Signal Detection Theory

Multidimensional Stimuli

Discussion Questions

Visual Displays

Sense of Vision


Principles of Display Design

Signs of Importance

Illumination and Glare

Discussion Questions

Auditory and Tactile Displays

Sense of Hearing

Nonverbal Auditory Displays

Speech Displays


Tactile Displays

Discussion Questions


Organization of Human Memory

Types of Decisions

Cognitive Workload

Automatization of Cognitive Processes

Degrees of Freedom in Cognitive Task Organization

Dynamic Decisions and Situation Awareness

Cognitive Analyses of a Person–Machine System

Discussion Questions

Psychomotor Skill and Controls

Reaction or Response Time

Learning and Skill Acquisition

Types of Manual Controls

Feedback and Controls

Voice Controls

Discussion Questions

Anthropometry and Work Space Design

Body Measurements

Safety and Related Concerns

Physical Abilities

Some Common Biomechanical Issues

Computer Workstations

Discussion Questions

Stress and Human Performance

Nature and Types of Stress

Physical Stressors

Social Stressors

Speed and Load Stress

Consequences of Stress

Work Schedules

Consequences of Stress

Stress and Performance Dynamics

Discussion Questions

Occupational Accidents and Prevention

Causes of Death and Injury

Structural Risk Models

Group Dynamics, Safety Climate, and Resilience

Accident Prevention Programs

Emergency Response

Discussion Questions

Human–Computer Interaction

The Changing Nature of the Interface


Memory Enhancements

Visual Displays

Auditory and Multimedia Displays

The Internet and the Web

Virtual Reality

Emotions in Human–Computer Interfaces

Discussion Questions

Programming, Artificial Intelligence, and Artificial Life

The Evolution of Programs

Artificial Intelligence and Expert Systems

Smart Integrated Systems

Large-Scale Integrated Systems

Artificial Life

Validation Issues

Discussion Questions

Complex Systems

NDS and Complex Systems

Real-World Complexity


Evolutionary and Revolutionary Change in Systems

Collective Intelligence

Group Coordination

Safety in Complex Systems

Discussion Questions 238

Environmental Design



The Great Outdoors

Playing in Traffic

Outer Space

Discussion Questions



Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
COMPUTERS / Social Aspects / Human-Computer Interaction
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Industrial Engineering
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Industrial Health & Safety