Human Performance

Cognition, Stress and Individual Differences

By D. Roy Davies, Gerald Matthews, Rob B. Stammers, Steve J. Westerman

© 2000 – Psychology Press

416 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415044073
pub: 2000-08-24
US Dollars$61.95
Hardback: 9780415044066
pub: 2000-08-24
US Dollars$95.00

Comp Exam Copy

About the Book

Human Performance provides the student and researcher with a comprehensive and accessible review of performance, in the real world and essential cognitive science theory.

Four main sections cover both theoretical and practical issues: Section One outlines the perspectives on performance offered by contemporary cognitive science, including information processing and neuroscience perspectives.

Section Two presents a multi-level view of the performer as biological organism, information-processor and intentional agent. It reviews the development of the cognitive theory of performance through experimental studies and also looks at practical issues such as human error.

Section Three reviews the impact of stress factors such as noise, fatigue and illness on performance. Section Four assesses individual and group differences in performance with accounts of ability, personality and aging.


'It was a pleasure to read this book. It deals with relatively complex subject matter in an easy-to-read, practical style. It is evident that the authors have an underlying desire to inform rather than impress, yet the book is impressive because of their approach. I would recommend this book as essential reading for any psychology student or professional working in the field.' - Ergonomics Abstracts

'Matthews and his fellow authors have done an excellent job of providing the reader with well-informed and thought-provoking accounts of the current state of knowledge with respect to the ways in which numerous stressors influence human cognition and performance. That is a significant achievement given the substantial research literature that has built up with respect to many of the findings.' - Contemporary Psychology: An American Psychological Association journal

Table of Contents

Prologue. Section I, 1. Introduction. Section II. 2. Modelling the Cognitive Architecture. 3. Key Subsystems of the Cognitive Architecture. 4. Selective Attention. 5. Divided Attention and Workload. 6. Vigilance and Sustained Attention. 7. Skilled Performance. 8. Human Error. Section III. 9. Stress, Arousal and Performance: An Introduction. 10. Noise and Irrelevant Speech. 11. Thermal Stress and Other Physical Stressors. 12. Fatigue the Energetics of Performance. 13. Lifestyle and Performance: Health, Diet and Drugs. Section IV 14. Individual Differences in Ability and Performance. 15. Individual Differences: Personality and Mood. 16. Ageing and Human Performance. Epilogue.

About the Authors

Gerald Mathews is Associate Professor in Psychology at the University of Cincinnati. D. Roy Davies is Reader in Experimental Psycholgy at Aston University. Stephen J. Westerman is a lecturer at the Psycholgy Institute at Aston university. Rob B. Stammers is the Professor of Occupational Psychology at Leicester University.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Cognitive Psychology