Variability in Human Performance

Overview

Understanding the conditions under which variability in performance may arise, and the processes related to its emergence, gives us insight into the development of techniques for improving the quality of performance. Variability in Human Performance details the scientific and the practical implications of human performance variability by providing a broad perspective on how and why such variability occurs across a number of disciplinary domains. The text takes an approach that rests upon the idea of context, or ...

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Overview

Understanding the conditions under which variability in performance may arise, and the processes related to its emergence, gives us insight into the development of techniques for improving the quality of performance. Variability in Human Performance details the scientific and the practical implications of human performance variability by providing a broad perspective on how and why such variability occurs across a number of disciplinary domains. The text takes an approach that rests upon the idea of context, or design, specificity in performance, namely that variability in performance is closely referenced to design factors in the environment in which performance is occurring.

An exploration of the link between variability and related processes, the book introduces a comprehensive framework for understanding human performance variability, presented in terms of how human control of behavior is closely tied to design factors in the performance environment. The authors introduce empirical evidence, as well as practical examples and application areas, in support of this framework. The book begins with coverage of neurobiological and biomechanical basis of movement variability, then examines rich and extensive empirical evidence available for context specificity in cognitive performance and learning, as a basis for cognitive performance variability. The book then reviews the evidence for context specificity in:

  • Student learning
  • Displaced feedback conditions
  • Human error behavior
  • Affective performance
  • Social and team performance

The authors also explore work performance as influenced by complex sociotechnical systems and as a basis for performance variability, applying control systems concepts to an interpretation of the nature and basis of performance variability in all of these domains. They conclude by taking an evolutionary perspective on the origins and behavioral significance of human performance variability. The book then provides strategies on how individuals, groups, and organizations can significantly reduce variability in human performance that often leads to systems failures.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
Overview
Definitions
Purpose and Scope
Key Principles of HF/E Science

Key Issues Bearing on the Properties and Purpose of Performance Variability
Individual Differences
Performance Prediction
A Control Systems Perspective on Performance Variability
Historical Perspective
Control Systems Concepts
Behavioral Cybernetics of Adaptive Systems Behavior
Behavioral Cybernetics of Cognition
Summary.

Variability in Human Motor and Sport Performance

Introduction
The Role of Variability in Behavioral Control
Methods for Analyzing Performance Variability
Linear Methods
Nonlinear Methods
Time Series Analysis
Fourier Transform Analysis.
Theoretical Perspectives on Variability and Sport Skill Learning
Schema Theory
Dynamical Systems Theory
Variability in Learning and Performing Skills
Variability between Expert and Novice Performers
Variability in Rehabilitation Settings
Summary.

Variability in Cognitive and Psychomotor Performance
Overview
Historical Perspective
Variability in Cognitive Performance
Early Transfer of Training Example
Differential Learning Research: Early Studies
Differential Learning Research: Analytical Innovations
Critical Analyses of Ackerman
Summary

Variability in Psychomotor Performance
Transfer of Training among Different Balance Tests
Fitts’ Law: Context Specificity in Movement Time Performance.
Hick-Hyman Law: Context Specificity in Choice Reaction Time Performance.
The Law of Practice: Context Specificity in Learning.
Summary
Qualitative Observations about Task Performance Variability
Language
Situation Awareness.
Context Specific Observations of Gladwell
Summary
Conclusions.

Educational Ergonomics: Context Specificity in Student Learning

Overview
Introduction
The Nature of Student Learning from the Perspective of Educational Psychology
The Nature of Student Learning from the Perspective of HF/E
Origins and Scope of Learning Ergonomics
The Influence of HF/E Design Factors on Student Performance and Learning.
Impact of Classroom and School Building Design Factors on Student Performance and Learning.
Impact of Educational System Design Factors on Student Performance and Learning
Impact of Learning Strategy Design Factors on Student Performance and Learning.
Impact of Student Character and Emotional Status on Student Performance and Learning.
Impact of Student Health on Student Performance and Learning
Impact of Community System Design Factors on Student Performance and Learning
Limitations
Influence of Nondesign-Related Factors on Student Learning
Analysis Offers Nothing New
Some Design Factors Not Considered
Conclusions

Variability in Human Performance Under Displaced Sensory Feedback

Overview
Historical Perspective
Early History of Spatially Displaced Visual Feedback Research
Early History of Delayed Feedback Research
Summary.
Behavioral Control Systems Analysis of Displaced Visual Feedback Effects
Examples of Spatially Displaced Visual Feedback
Example of Delayed Visual Feedback
Compilation of Performance Effects of Spatially Displaced and Delayed Sensory Feedback
Interpretation
Displaced Sensory Feedback Effects on Teleoperation
Human Factors Issues with Workstation Telepresence
Performance Variability during Teleoperation
Conclusions

Human Error and Performance Variability

Introduction
Historical Perspective
Context Specificity in Human Error
Management Responsibility for Human Error
Human Error as an Inherent Attribute of Human Performance Variability
A Control Systems Perspective on Error Performance
There are Evident Limitations to the Term "Human Error" as a Meaningful Scientific and Operational Concept
Principles of Hazard Management
Definitions, Scope, and Historical Perspective
Rationale and Background
Behavioral Cybernetic Model of Hazard Management
Key Principles of Hazard Management
Conclusions

Variability in Affective Performance

Introduction
Historical Perspective
Personality and Performance Variability
Emotion and Performance Variability
Conclusions

Social Cybernetics of Team Performance Variability

Introduction
Cybernetic Fundamentals of Feedback and Feedforward Control
Longstanding Scientific Reservations about Cybernetic Psychology
Social Cybernetics and Teamwork
Modes of Social Tracking
Feedback Perturbation of Social Tracking
Social Cybernetic Studies of Social Interaction and Teamwork Through .
Design Factors and Variability in Social Tracking.
Sensory Feedback Modality and Social Tracking Skill
Learning of Social Tracking Skills
Physiological Feedback Effects in Social Tracking
Effects of Sensory Feedback Perturbations on Social Tracking
Social Tracking in Group Interaction
Social Cybernetic Basis of Cognitive Behavior and Communication
Social Cybernetic Research Since
Feedback Control Compliance During Parallel-Linked Social Tracking
Delayed Feedback in Serial-Linked and Mutual Social Tracking
Augmented Team Cognition.
Social Cybernetics in Participatory Ergonomics Programs.
Design Imperatives for Homeokinesis at the Team Level
Assessment of Homeokinesis at the Team Level.
Conclusions

Variability in Human Work Performance: Interaction with Complex Sociotechnical Systems
Introduction
Historical Perspective
The Nature and Significance of Work
Introduction: Human Control of the Behavioral Environment through Work
Theories of Work
General Laws and Customs of Work
The Future of Work
Work Performance Variability and Interaction with Complex Sociotechnical Systems.
Work Performance Variability and the Design and Management of Organizational Systems
Macroergonomic Perspectives on Organizational Performance Variability
Synergism of Ergonomics with Safety, Quality, and Productivity of Organizational and Work Performance
Operational Synergism between Safety and Quality
A Control Systems Perspective on Organizational Design and Management: Role of Ergonomics.
Conclusions
Work Performance Variability and Performance Variability of Economies and Nation States
A Control Systems Perspective on Variability in Economic Performance
Work Performance Variability and Variability in Economic Performance
Work Performance Variability and Variability in Nation-State Performance
A Control Systems Perspective on Variability in Nation-State Performance
Conclusions

Variability in Fracture- Critical Systems
.
Introduction.
Fracture-Critical System Failures
Why Fracture-Critical Failures Happen
Jeopardizing the Future.
The Futility of Massive Scale
The Perversity of Unintended Consequences.
Creating a More Resilient Future for Ourselves

Human Performance Variability: An Evolutionary Perspective
.
Introduction.
Mechanisms of Evolution
Nature Versus Nurture
Heritability of Intelligence.
Epigenetics.
Implications for Context Specificity
Phylogenetic Origins of Human Performance Variability
Human Self-Selection through Work.
Landmarks in the Evolution of Human Work
Conclusions

Summary and Conclusions

Summary
Conclusions: The Purpose of Human Performance Variability
References
Index

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