Course Description and Objective:

The course provides a survey of Human Factors and Erogonomics with particular reference to human functions in human-machine systems.  We consider basic human capabilities and the ways that these capabilities are taken into account in the design of human-machine systems and work environments.

The objective of the course is for you to learn: 

  • the principles, assumptions, and methods on which the discipline of Human Factors is based;
  • the systems approach and its implications for human factors;
  • types of human error and the factors that influence their likelihood;
  • facts and theories regarding human perception, cognition, and action and their implications for design;
  • physical and environmental factors that need to be taken into account when designing for human use;
  • specific methods, such as mental workload analysis for evaluating alternative designs;
  • the steps for implementing human factors and ergonomics programs within organizations.
At the end of the course you should know why human factors analyses are needed, what types of factors must be considered for specific design problems, and the techniques that are available to make informed choices among alternative designs.

Recommended Procedure:

  1. Read the assigned material from the course outline before the class for which it is assigned.
  2. If you have questions pertaining to homework, try to reach the teaching assistant first.  Then, if necessary, contact the professor. 

Text and Workbook (not available until August 15, 2003, but can be pre-ordered):

 Proctor & Van Zandt, Human Factors in Simple and Complex Systems.  Allyn & Bacon, 1994.

 Dutta, Campbell, & Proctor, Workbook for Human Factors in Simple and Complex Systems.  Allyn & Bacon, 1994.

 Both are out of print; some new and used copies may be available; packets containing copies of the text and workbook are available at the BoilerCopyMaker (Purdue University).  They will take individual and group orders by phone (765 496 3888).  Pre-orders are encouraged; please allow time for shipping.

Course Web Site:  (Password access may not be available until the first week of classes).

 To access most materials, when asked, you must enter:
   (1) USERNAME: Your last name
   (2) PASSWORD: Your student ID (social security) number, without blank spaces or dashes

The syllabus, office hours, course slides and additional course information are posted at the course Web site.  

Office Hours:

Office Hours: Office:  Phone:
Robert W. Proctor To be determined PSYC 3150 494-0784
Dr. Yang Seok Cho
Dr. Kim Vu
Debbie Wang
Matthew Reysen
Diana Horn

 E-mail address:  The 577ta e-mail account is NOT checked over the summer break.

 PLEASE OBSERVE ESTABLISHED OFFICE HOURS!  The TAs will only be at the phone during office hours for the  off-campus students.

Workbook Projects:

Workbook projects will be assigned weekly in the class session that is held on Friday on campus.  Most will be due a week after that session is viewed.  The projects should be prepared individually by each student, unless otherwise indicated, and not copied from someone else.  Copied projects will not receive credit.  The cumulative grade for the projects will be the equivalent of an exam grade.
Off-campus students only:  Homework projects need to be mailed directly to me at the address provided at the top of the syllabus. 

Course Grade:

 Three exams will be held, each covering approximately 1/3 of the course.  The last of these exams will be the final examination, which will not be comprehensive.  The course grade will be determined from the three exam grades and the projects grade, each of which will be worth 25%..

How to Print Slides

 To print slides, you need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer: 
Adobe Acrobat Reader ( available here ) and click on the specific Session to see/print the full-size version, and the  PDF link located under the session number to print 6 slides to a page.

Session Topic Reading Assignment
Session 1

Seesion 2

Session 3

Session 4

Session 5

Introduction to Human Factors in Engineering 

Historical Foundations

Scientific Method 

No Class-- LABOR DAY

Research Design 

Probability and Statistics


Chapter 1 

Chapter 2 (pp. 15-19) 

Chapter 2 (pp. 19-26)

Chapter 2 (pp. 26-37)

Session 6

Session 7

Session 8

Session 9

Session 10

Session 11

System Concept and Human Error

Human Reliability Analysis 

Human Information Processing 

Psychophysical Methods 

Signal Detection Theory and Chronometric 


Chapter 3 (pp. 38-46)

Chapter 3 (pp. 46-58) 

Chapter 4 (pp.59-64) 

Chapter 4 (pp. 64-65) 

Chapter 5 (pp. 66-80) 

Chapter 5 (pp. 81-96) 

Session 12

Session 13

Session 14

Session 15

Session 16

Session 17

Vision and Review 

Visual Perception

Color Vision and Audition 

EXAM 1 (February 17)

Perceptual Organization

"Seeing Beyond the Obvious"

Chapter 6 (pp. 107-122) 

Chapter 5 (pp. 96-106) 

Chapter 6 (pp. 122-130); 

Chapter 7 (pp. 131-137)


Session 18

Session 19

Session 20

Session 21

Session 22

Depth Perception, Motion Perception, and Pattern Recognition 

Static Visual Displays 

Dynamic Visual Displays 


Auditory and Tactual Displays 


Chapter 7 (pp. 137-158) 

Chapter 8 (pp. 159-170) 

Chapter 8 (pp. 170-178) 

Chapter 8 (pp. 178-185) 

Chapter 9 (pp. 186-199)

Session 23

Session 24

Session 25

Sesstion 26

Session 27

Session 28

Mental Workload

Memory Store

Processing Strategies and Communication  

Problem Solving and Reasoning

Decision Making and Decision Aids 

Skill Aquisition and Expertise

Chapter 9 (pp. 200-209) 

Chapter 10 (pp. 210-221) 

Chapter 10 (pp. 221-231) 

Chapter 11 (pp. 232-345)

Chapter 11 (pp. 245-251)

Chapter 12 (pp. 252-264) 

Session 29

Session 30

Session 31

Session 32

Session 33

Session 34

Expert Systems

Response Selection 

Principles of Compatibility


Control of Movementl

Control of Movement and Acquisition of Motor Skill

Chapter 12 (pp. 264-270) 

Chapter 13 (pp. 271-286)

Chapter 13 (pp. 286-295) 

Chapter 14 (pp.296-313)

Chapter 14 (pp.313-320); 
Chapter 15 (pp. 321-328) 

Session 35

Session 36

Session 37

Session 38

Aquisition and Retention of Motor Skills

Types of Controls and Their Features 

Control Panels 

Engineering Anthropometry 


Chapter 15 (pp. 328-341) 

Chapter 16 (pp. 342-353) 

Chapter 16 (pp. 353-368) 

Chapter 17 (pp.369-376)

Session 39

Session 40

Session 41

Session 42

Session 43

Session 44

Cumulative Trauma Disorders

Workspace Design 

Lighting, Noise, Vibration, and Temperature 

Stress and Macroergonomics 


The Practice of Human Factors; 
Final Review

Chapter 17 (pp. 376-387) 

Chapter 17 (pp. 387-395) 

Chapter 18 (pp. 397-418)

Chapter 18 (pp. 418-422) 
Chapter 19 (pp. 423-430)

Chapter 19 (pp. 430-449)

Chapter 21

Final Exam - TBA ---

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