Global Perspectives on the Ecology of Human-Machine Systems

Edited by John M. Flach, Peter A. Hancock, Jeff Caird, Kim J. Vicente

© 1995 – CRC Press

424 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780805813821
pub: 1995-05-01
US Dollars$89.95
Hardback: 9780805813814
pub: 1995-06-01
US Dollars$154.95

e–Inspection Copy

About the Book

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."

Contemporary Psychology

Table of Contents

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.

About the Series

Resources for Ecological Psychology Series

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
NATURE / Ecology
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Engineering (General)
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Industrial Health & Safety