1st Edition

Stories of Modern Technology Failures and Cognitive Engineering Successes

By Nancy J. Cooke, Frank Durso Copyright 2008
    134 Pages 17 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    A woman is operated on while she's awake...

    A plane runs out of gas while circling an airport for 30 minutes...

    A passenger liner is mistaken for an enemy fighter and shot down...

    A company invests in a new system that will cost them money...

    What do these failure have in common?  How can we prevent them from happening again?

    Offering a critical perspective on problems with human-technical systems, Stories of Modern Technology Failures and Cognitive Engineering Successes explores the significant efforts of those who have made a positive difference.  The book analyzes a variety of cognitive engineering applications, including training, design, military, transportation, communications, medicine, and emergency response in the nuclear industry.

    Real world examples include—

  • Designing a military training program that improved the detection rates of land mines
  • Redesigning a monitor to help anesthesiologists predict dosages more effectively
  • Implementing new protocols to improve the workflow and safety of a nuclear power plant
  • The book’s focus on cognitive engineering solutions emphasizes methodology such as knowledge elicitation, laboratory studies, naturalistic observation, usability, and modeling. It addresses highly complex systems as well as traditional human-machine interfaces.

    This book demonstrates how cognitive engineers—

  • Identify and address cognitive problems
  • Develop, test, and implement solutions
  • Consider social, cultural, political, and economic factors
  • Develop criteria to measure the success of a solution
  • Background & Perspective
    Harnessing Landmine Expertise
    Not Too Old to Drive
    “Get This …On the Ground”
    Number Please
    “You Guys Better Take Good Care of Me”
    Too Many Cooks
    Decisions at Sea
    In Their Own Words: Cognitive Engineers Speak from the Trenches
    Commentary by William C. Howell


    Nancy J. Cooke, Frank Durso

    “Nancy Cooke & Frank Durso have succeeded in producing a fascinating discussion of cognitive engineering as the field relates to a wide variety of tasks and domains. I am especially excited about their focus on solutions and the role of science in the development of those solutions. This book will be of great value for the classroom as well as for informing the general public about the broad field of human factors and its potential to improve lives.”
    — Wendy A. Rogers, Professor of Psychology, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA

    "[This book] demonstrates the enormous societal value of applied behavioral research on humans and their interactions with modern technology. This book should be of interest to practitioners and students of human factors and ergonomics, but also to individuals responsible for government policy, regulatory oversight, and management in aviation, medicine, transportation, and nuclear power.”
    —Steven Casey, President, Ergonomic Systems Design, Inc., California, USA, and author of The Atomic Chef and Other True Tales of Design, Technology, and Human Error

    "This little book has something in it for everyone. For the student it provides the why and some examples of the how of cognitive engineering in an exciting narrative context. For the practitioner it provides stimulating success stories and a self-conscious look at what the field needs to mature. For the policy wonk it provides some interesting examples that just might make them take notice. For the general public it provides an entertaining introduction to an intrinsically interesting, if unfamiliar field."
    — Dick Pew, Principal Scientist, BBN Technologies, Rhode Island, USA