Traffic psychology is a discipline of psychology that studies the relationship between psychological processes and the behavior of road users. In general, traffic psychology aims to apply theoretical aspects of psychology in order to improve traffic mobility by helping to develop and apply accident countermeasures, as well as by guiding desired behaviors through education and the motivation of road users. Behavior is studied in conjunction with accident research in order to assess causes and differences in accident involvement. Traffic psychologists distinguish three motivations of driver behavior: reasoned or planned behavior, impulsive or emotional behavior, habitual behavior. Additionally and cognitive applications of psychology are used, such as enforcement, road safety education campaigns, therapeutic and rehabilitation programs. Broad theories of cognition, sensory-motor and neurological aspects psychology are applied to the field of traffic psychology. Studies of factors such as attention, spatial cognition, stress, distracting/ambiguous stimuli and secondary tasks such as phone conversations are used to understand and investigate the experience and actions of road users.
Traffic psychology deals with the noncognitive and sensory-motor aspects of people in the context of driving, dealing with traffic, dealing with others. By identifying feelings that cause cognitive thoughts, traffic psychology allows the understanding of resulting actions and gives a way of modifying behavior. Traffic psychology can be defined as a tool that through subjective analysis, helps to increase the overall quality of lives through behavioral observation and modification; the task of traffic psychology is to understand and provide measures to modify road user behavior at levels identified with as general objective to minimize the harmful effects of traffic participation. Behavior research in traffic psychology deals with subjects like motivation and gender differences, overconfidence and skill differences and violation of traffic rules. A classification of behavioral factors into those that reduce driving capability and those that promote risky behavior with further division into those with short- and long-term impact helps the conceptualization of the problems and may contribute to the prioritization of behavior modification.
Traffic and transport sciences concern themselves with the study, comprehension and prediction of everything related to the mobility of people and products. It incorporates several aspects of the transportation systems along with multiple techniques; this process attempts to develop valid and reliable methods to better understand and predict the effects of human variability with its environmental interactions on safety. The transportation system consists of road, rail and air infrastructures, it includes the possibilities and limitations of its economics and regulations, which sets barriers to the capabilities of an individual and mass motorist. For instance, speed can be influenced by method of travel, by financial capabilities for the type of vehicle, or by regulations such as speed limits in rural areas versus city driving; the traffic environment takes into account location, time constraints and dangers that are exposed to motorist. These environmental factors pose risk to motorists that may be fatal.
Driving in wet and dark conditions exposes drivers to far greater risk than driving on a sunny day on an open road. This is just one type of road factor for crashes that Sullman goes on to explain in further detail: …crashes include lack of visibility or obstructions, unclean road or loose material, poor road conditions or road markings, the horizontal curvature of the road. Environmental influences such as cold or hot weather and vibration are all more to impact on stress and fatigue states Variability of the driver’s age, temperament and expertise affect speed and decisions. Drivers use some degree of risk compensation to assess driving decisions and it is skewed by varying levels of intoxication. Alcohol and drug usage and fatigue, distraction and focus are a few of the main factors attributed to driver error and crashes. In addition to behavior research, accident research is a component in traffic psychology, looking at driving methodology, individual differences, characteristics of personality, temporary impairments, relevant capabilities, the driver as an information processor, human factors on highway accidents, the pedestrian.
Examination of the operator plays a large role in transportation psychology. While many external factors influence traffic safety, internal factors are significant; some factors include: Decision-making Demographics Distraction Detection Thresholds Drugs and alcohol Driving training and experience Familiarity with vehicle and environment Fatigue Inattention Perception-reaction time Response to the unexpected Risky behaviors Stress and panic Linking brain regions and circuits with behaviors involved in operating a vehicle is one of the more salient topics of research within traffic psychology. Seven separate brain networks have been identified in driving simulations as being of importance to the neurophysiological processes involved in driving; the networks each have a unique function as outlined by Porter: The parietoccipital sulcus is involved in visual monitoring, motor cortex and cerebellar areas—for gr
Cognitive psychology is the scientific study of mental processes such as "attention, language use, perception, problem solving and thinking". Much of the work derived from cognitive psychology has been integrated into various other modern disciplines such as Cognitive Science and of psychological study, including educational psychology, social psychology, personality psychology, abnormal psychology, developmental psychology and economics. Philosophically, ruminations of the human mind and its processes have been around since the times of the ancient Greeks. In 387 BCE, Plato is known to have suggested. In 1637, René Descartes posited that humans are born with innate ideas, forwarded the idea of mind-body dualism, which would come to be known as substance dualism. From that time, major debates ensued through the 19th century regarding whether human thought was experiential, or included innate knowledge; some of those involved in this debate included George Berkeley and John Locke on the side of empiricism, Immanuel Kant on the side of nativism.
With the philosophical debate continuing, the mid to late 19th century was a critical time in the development of psychology as a scientific discipline. Two discoveries that would play substantial roles in cognitive psychology were Paul Broca's discovery of the area of the brain responsible for language production, Carl Wernicke's discovery of an area thought to be responsible for comprehension of language. Both areas were subsequently formally named for their founders and disruptions of an individual's language production or comprehension due to trauma or malformation in these areas have come to be known as Broca's aphasia and Wernicke's aphasia. From the 1920s to the 1950s, the main approach to psychology was behaviorism, its adherents viewed mental events such as thoughts, ideas and consciousness as unobservables, hence outside the realm of a science of psychology. One pioneer of cognitive psychology, who worked outside the boundaries of behaviorism was Jean Piaget. From 1926 to the 1950s and into the 1980s, he studied the thoughts and intelligence of children and adults.
In the mid-20th century, three main influences arose that would inspire and shape cognitive psychology as a formal school of thought: With the development of new warfare technology during WWII, the need for a greater understanding of human performance came to prominence. Problems such as how to best train soldiers to use new technology and how to deal with matters of attention while under duress became areas of need for military personnel. Behaviorism provided little if any insight into these matters and it was the work of Donald Broadbent, integrating concepts from human performance research and the developed information theory, that forged the way in this area. Developments in computer science would lead to parallels being drawn between human thought and the computational functionality of computers, opening new areas of psychological thought. Allen Newell and Herbert Simon spent years developing the concept of artificial intelligence and worked with cognitive psychologists regarding the implications of AI.
This encouraged a conceptualization of mental functions patterned on the way that computers handled such things as memory storage and retrieval, it opened an important doorway for cognitivism. Noam Chomsky's 1959 critique of behaviorism, empiricism more initiated what would come to be known as the "cognitive revolution". Inside psychology, in criticism of behaviorism, J. S. Bruner, J. J. Goodnow & G. A. Austin wrote "a study of thinking" in 1956. In 1960, G. A. Miller, E. Galanter and K. Pribram wrote their famous "Plans and the Structure of Behavior"; the same year and Miller founded the Harvard Center for Cognitive Studies, which institutionalized the revolution and launched the field of cognitive science. Formal recognition of the field involved the establishment of research institutions such as George Mandler's Center for Human Information Processing in 1964. Mandler described the origins of cognitive psychology in a 2002 article in the Journal of the History of the Behavioral SciencesUlric Neisser put the term "cognitive psychology" into common use through his book Cognitive Psychology, published in 1967.
Neisser's definition of "cognition" illustrates the then-progressive concept of cognitive processes: The term "cognition" refers to all processes by which the sensory input is transformed, elaborated, stored and used. It is concerned with these processes when they operate in the absence of relevant stimulation, as in images and hallucinations.... Given such a sweeping definition, it is apparent that cognition is involved in everything a human being might do, but although cognitive psychology is concerned with all human activity rather than some fraction of it, the concern is from a particular point of view. Other viewpoints are legitimate and necessary. Dynamic psychology, which begins with motives rather than with sensory input, is a case in point. Instead of asking how a man's actions and experiences result from what he saw, remembered, or believed, the dynamic psychologist asks how they follow from the subject's goals, needs, or instincts; the main focus of cognitive psychologists is on the mental processes.
Those processes include, but are not limited to, the following: The psychological definition of attention is "a state of focused awareness on a subset of the available perceptual
Developmental psychology is the scientific study of how and why human beings change over the course of their life. Concerned with infants and children, the field has expanded to include adolescence, adult development and the entire lifespan. Developmental psychologists aim to explain how thinking and behaviors change throughout life; this field examines change across three major dimensions: physical development, cognitive development, socioemotional development. Within these three dimensions are a broad range of topics including motor skills, executive functions, moral understanding, language acquisition, social change, emotional development, self-concept, identity formation. Developmental psychology examines the influences of nature and nurture on the process of human development, processes of change in context and across time. Many researchers are interested in the interactions among personal characteristics, the individual's behavior, environmental factors, including the social context and the built environment.
Ongoing debates include biological essentialism vs. neuroplasticity and stages of development vs. dynamic systems of development. Developmental psychology involves a range of fields, such as educational psychology, child psychopathology, forensic developmental psychology, child development, cognitive psychology, ecological psychology, cultural psychology. Influential developmental psychologists from the 20th century include Urie Bronfenbrenner, Erik Erikson, Sigmund Freud, Jean Piaget, Barbara Rogoff, Esther Thelen, Lev Vygotsky. John B. Watson and Jean-Jacques Rousseau are cited as providing the foundations for modern developmental psychology. In the mid-18th century Jean Jacques Rousseau described three stages of development: infants and adolescence in Emile: Or, On Education. Rousseau's ideas were taken up by educators at the time, it focuses on how and why certain modifications throughout an individual’s life-cycle and human growth change over time. There are many theorists. For example, Erik Erikson developed a model of eight stages of psychological development.
He believed that humans developed in stages throughout their lifetimes and this would affect their behaviors In the late 19th century, psychologists familiar with the evolutionary theory of Darwin began seeking an evolutionary description of psychological development. James Mark Baldwin who wrote essays on topics that included Imitation: A Chapter in the Natural History of Consciousness and Mental Development in the Child and the Race: Methods and Processes. James Mark Baldwin was involved in the theory of developmental psychology. Sigmund Freud, whose concepts were developmental affected public perceptions. Sigmund Freud believed that we all had a conscious and unconscious level. In the conscious, we are aware of our mental process; the preconscious involves information that, though not in our thoughts, can be brought into consciousness. Lastly, the unconscious includes mental processes, he believed there is tension between the conscious and unconscious because the conscious tries to hold back what the unconscious tries to express.
To explain this he developed three personality structures: the id, superego. The id, the most primitive of the three, functions according to the pleasure principle: seek pleasure and avoid pain; the superego plays the moralizing role. Based on this, he proposed five universal stages of development, that each is characterized by the erogenous zone, the source of the child's psychosexual energy; the first is the oral stage. During the oral stage, "the libido is centered in a baby's mouth." The baby is able to suck. The second is the anal stage, from one to three years of age. During the anal stage, the child defecates from the anus and is fascinated with their defecation; the third is the phallic stage. During the phallic stage, the child is aware of their sexual organs; the fourth is the latency stage. During the latency stage, the child's sexual interests are repressed. Stage five is the genital stage. During the genital stage, puberty starts happening. Jean Piaget, a Swiss theorist, posited that children learn by constructing knowledge through hands-on experience.
He suggested that the adult's role in helping the child learn was to provide appropriate materials that the child can interact with and use to construct. He used Socratic questioning to get children to reflect on what they were doing, he tried to get them to see contradictions in their explanations. Piaget believed that intellectual development takes place through a series of stages, which he described in his theory on cognitive development; each stage consists of steps. He believed that these stages are not separate from one another, but rather that each stage builds on the previous one in a continuous learning process, he proposed four stages: sensorimotor, pre-operational, concrete operational, formal operational. Though he did not believe these stages occurred at any given age, many studies have determined when these co
Psychology is the science of behavior and mind. Psychology includes the study of conscious and unconscious phenomena, as well as feeling and thought, it is an academic discipline of immense scope. Psychologists seek an understanding of the emergent properties of brains, all the variety of phenomena linked to those emergent properties; as a social science it aims to understand individuals and groups by establishing general principles and researching specific cases. In this field, a professional practitioner or researcher is called a psychologist and can be classified as a social, behavioral, or cognitive scientist. Psychologists attempt to understand the role of mental functions in individual and social behavior, while exploring the physiological and biological processes that underlie cognitive functions and behaviors. Psychologists explore behavior and mental processes, including perception, attention, intelligence, motivation, brain functioning, personality; this extends to interaction between people, such as interpersonal relationships, including psychological resilience, family resilience, other areas.
Psychologists of diverse orientations consider the unconscious mind. Psychologists employ empirical methods to infer causal and correlational relationships between psychosocial variables. In addition, or in opposition, to employing empirical and deductive methods, some—especially clinical and counseling psychologists—at times rely upon symbolic interpretation and other inductive techniques. Psychology has been described as a "hub science" in that medicine tends to draw psychological research via neurology and psychiatry, whereas social sciences most draws directly from sub-disciplines within psychology. While psychological knowledge is applied to the assessment and treatment of mental health problems, it is directed towards understanding and solving problems in several spheres of human activity. By many accounts psychology aims to benefit society; the majority of psychologists are involved in some kind of therapeutic role, practicing in clinical, counseling, or school settings. Many do scientific research on a wide range of topics related to mental processes and behavior, work in university psychology departments or teach in other academic settings.
Some are employed in industrial and organizational settings, or in other areas such as human development and aging, sports and the media, as well as in forensic investigation and other aspects of law. The word psychology derives from Greek roots meaning study of soul; the Latin word psychologia was first used by the Croatian humanist and Latinist Marko Marulić in his book, Psichiologia de ratione animae humanae in the late 15th century or early 16th century. The earliest known reference to the word psychology in English was by Steven Blankaart in 1694 in The Physical Dictionary which refers to "Anatomy, which treats the Body, Psychology, which treats of the Soul."In 1890, William James defined psychology as "the science of mental life, both of its phenomena and their conditions". This definition enjoyed widespread currency for decades. However, this meaning was contested, notably by radical behaviorists such as John B. Watson, who in his 1913 manifesto defined the discipline of psychology as the acquisition of information useful to the control of behavior.
Since James defined it, the term more connotes techniques of scientific experimentation. Folk psychology refers to the understanding of ordinary people, as contrasted with that of psychology professionals; the ancient civilizations of Egypt, China and Persia all engaged in the philosophical study of psychology. In Ancient Egypt the Ebers Papyrus mentioned thought disorders. Historians note that Greek philosophers, including Thales and Aristotle, addressed the workings of the mind; as early as the 4th century BC, Greek physician Hippocrates theorized that mental disorders had physical rather than supernatural causes. In China, psychological understanding grew from the philosophical works of Laozi and Confucius, from the doctrines of Buddhism; this body of knowledge involves insights drawn from introspection and observation, as well as techniques for focused thinking and acting. It frames the universe as a division of, interaction between, physical reality and mental reality, with an emphasis on purifying the mind in order to increase virtue and power.
An ancient text known as The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine identifies the brain as the nexus of wisdom and sensation, includes theories of personality based on yin–yang balance, analyzes mental disorder in terms of physiological and social disequilibria. Chinese scholarship focused on the brain advanced in the Qing Dynasty with the work of Western-educated Fang Yizhi, Liu Zhi, Wang Qingren. Wang Qingren emphasized the importance of the brain as the center of the nervous system, linked mental disorder with brain diseases, investigated the causes of dreams and insomnia, advanced a theory of hemispheric lateralization in brain function. Distinctions in types of awareness appear in the ancient thought of India, influenced by Hinduism. A central idea of the Upanishads is the distinction between a person's transient mundane self and their eternal unchanging soul. Divergent Hindu doctrines, Buddhism, have challenged this hierarchy of selves, but have all emphasized the importance of reaching higher
Big Five personality traits
The Big Five personality traits known as the five-factor model and the OCEAN model, is a taxonomy for personality traits. It is based on common language descriptors; when factor analysis is applied to personality survey data, some words used to describe aspects of personality are applied to the same person. For example, someone described as conscientious is more to be described as "always prepared" rather than "messy"; this theory is based therefore on the association between words but not on neuropsychological experiments. This theory uses descriptors of common language and therefore suggests five broad dimensions used to describe the human personality and psyche; the five factors have been defined as openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion and neuroticism, represented by the acronym OCEAN or CANOE. Beneath each proposed global factor, there are a number of correlated and more specific primary factors. For example, extraversion is said to include such related qualities as gregariousness, excitement seeking, warmth and positive emotions.
That these underlying factors can be found is consistent with the lexical hypothesis: personality characteristics that are most important in people's lives will become a part of their language and, that more important personality characteristics are more to be encoded into language as a single word. The five factors are: Openness to experience. Appreciation for art, adventure, unusual ideas and variety of experience. Openness reflects the degree of intellectual curiosity, creativity and a preference for novelty and variety a person has, it is described as the extent to which a person is imaginative or independent and depicts a personal preference for a variety of activities over a strict routine. High openness can be perceived as unpredictability or lack of focus, more to engage in risky behaviour or drug taking. Individuals that have high openness tend to lean, in occupation and hobby, towards the arts, being creative and appreciative of the significance of intellectual and artistic pursuits.
Moreover, individuals with high openness are said to pursue self-actualization by seeking out intense, euphoric experiences. Conversely, those with low openness seek to gain fulfillment through perseverance and are characterized as pragmatic and data-driven—sometimes perceived to be dogmatic and closed-minded; some disagreement remains about how to contextualize the openness factor. Conscientiousness. Tendency to be organized and dependable, show self-discipline, act dutifully, aim for achievement, prefer planned rather than spontaneous behavior. High conscientiousness is perceived as being stubborn and focused. Low conscientiousness is associated with flexibility and spontaneity, but can appear as sloppiness and lack of reliability. Extraversion. Energetic, assertiveness and the tendency to seek stimulation in the company of others, talkativeness. High extraversion is perceived as attention-seeking and domineering. Low extraversion causes a reserved, reflective personality, which can be perceived as aloof or self-absorbed.
Extroverted people may appear more dominant in social settings, as opposed to introverted people in this setting. Agreeableness. Tendency to be compassionate and cooperative rather than suspicious and antagonistic towards others, it is a measure of one's trusting and helpful nature, whether a person is well-tempered or not. High agreeableness is seen as naive or submissive. Low agreeableness personalities are competitive or challenging people, which can be seen as argumentative or untrustworthy. Neuroticism. Tendency to be prone to psychological stress; the tendency to experience unpleasant emotions such as anger, anxiety and vulnerability. Neuroticism refers to the degree of emotional stability and impulse control and is sometimes referred to by its low pole, "emotional stability". High stability manifests itself as a stable and calm personality, but can be seen as uninspiring and unconcerned. Low stability manifests as the reactive and excitable personality found in dynamic individuals, but can be perceived as unstable or insecure.
Individuals with higher levels of neuroticism tend to have worse psychological well being. People who do not exhibit a clear predisposition to a single factor in each dimension above are considered adaptable and reasonable, yet they can be perceived as unprincipled and calculating. Depending on how much of each trait a person has, it could make someone more susceptible to participating in certain activities. Family life and the way someone was raised will affect these traits. Twin studies and other research have shown that about half of the variation between individuals results from their genetics and half from their environments. Researchers have found conscientiousness, openness to experience, neuroticism to be stable from childhood through adulthood; the Big Five personality traits was the model to comprehend the relationship between personality and academic behaviors. This model was defined by several independent sets of researchers who used factor analysis of verbal descriptors of human behavior.
These researchers began by studying relationships between a large number of verbal descriptors related to personality traits. They reduced the lists of these descriptors by 5–10 fold
Educational psychology is the branch of psychology concerned with the scientific study of human learning. The study of learning processes, from both cognitive and behavioral perspectives, allows researchers to understand individual differences in intelligence, cognitive development, motivation, self-regulation, self-concept, as well as their role in learning; the field of educational psychology relies on quantitative methods, including testing and measurement, to enhance educational activities related to instructional design, classroom management, assessment, which serve to facilitate learning processes in various educational settings across the lifespan. Educational psychology can in part be understood through its relationship with other disciplines, it is informed by psychology, bearing a relationship to that discipline analogous to the relationship between medicine and biology. It is informed by neuroscience. Educational psychology in turn informs a wide range of specialities within educational studies, including instructional design, educational technology, curriculum development, organizational learning, special education, classroom management, student motivation.
Educational psychology both draws from and contributes to cognitive science and the learning sciences. In universities, departments of educational psychology are housed within faculties of education accounting for the lack of representation of educational psychology content in introductory psychology textbooks; the field of educational psychology involves the study of memory, conceptual processes, individual differences in conceptualizing new strategies for learning processes in humans. Educational psychology has been built upon theories of operant conditioning, structuralism, humanistic psychology, Gestalt psychology, information processing. Educational psychology has seen rapid growth and development as a profession in the last twenty years. School psychology began with the concept of intelligence testing leading to provisions for special education students, who could not follow the regular classroom curriculum in the early part of the 20th century. However, "school psychology" itself has built a new profession based upon the practices and theories of several psychologists among many different fields.
Educational psychologists are working side by side with psychiatrists, social workers, teachers and language therapists, counselors in attempt to understand the questions being raised when combining behavioral and social psychology in the classroom setting. Educational psychology is a new and growing field of study. Though it can date back as early as the days of Plato and Aristotle, it was not identified as a specific practice, it was unknown that everyday teaching and learning in which individuals had to think about individual differences, development, the nature of a subject being taught, problem solving, transfer of learning was the beginning to the field of educational psychology. These topics are important to education and as a result it is important to understanding human cognition and social perception. Educational psychology dates back to the time of Plato. Plato and Aristotle researched individual differences in the field of education, training of the body and the cultivation of psycho-motor skills, the formation of good character, the possibilities and limits of moral education.
Some other educational topics they spoke about were the effects of music and the other arts on the development of individual, role of teacher, the relations between teacher and student. Plato saw knowledge as an innate ability, which evolves through experience and understanding of the world; such a statement has evolved into a continuing argument of nature vs. nurture in understanding conditioning and learning today. Aristotle observed the phenomenon of "association." His four laws of association included succession, contiguity and contrast. His studies facilitated learning processes. John Locke was considered one of the most influential philosophers in post-renaissance Europe in about mid 1600s. Locke was called "Father of English Psychology". One of Locke's most important works was written in 1690, named An Essay Concerning Human Understanding. In this essay, he introduced the term "tabula rasa" meaning "blank slate." Locke explained that learning was understood through experience only, we were all born without knowledge.
He followed by contrasting Plato's theory of innate learning processes. Locke believed. Locke introduced this idea as "empiricism," or the understanding that knowledge is only built on knowledge and experience. In the late 1600s, John Locke advanced the hypothesis that people learn from external forces, he believed that the mind was like a blank tablet, that successions of simple impressions give rise to complex ideas through association and reflection. Locke is credited with establishing "empiricism" as a criterion for testing the validity of knowledge, thus providing a conceptual framework for development of experimental methodology in the natural and social sciences. Philosophers of education such as Juan Vives, Johann Pestalozzi, Friedrich Fröbel, Johann Herbart had examined and judged the methods of education centuries before the beginnings of psychology in the late 1800s. Juan Vives proposed induction as the method of study and believed in the direct observation and investigation of the study of nature.
His studies focus of humanistic learning, which opposed scholasticism and was influenced by a variety of sources including philosophy, psy
Human factors and ergonomics
Human factors and ergonomics is the application of psychological and physiological principles to the design of products and systems. The goal of human factors is to reduce human error, increase productivity, enhance safety and comfort with a specific focus on the interaction between the human and the thing of interest, it is not changes or amendments to the work enviornment but encompases theory, methods and principles all applied in the field of ergonomics. The field is a combination of numerous disciplines, such as psychology, engineering, industrial design, anthropometry, interaction design, visual design, user experience, user interface design. In research, human factors employs the scientific method to study human behavior so that the resultant data may be applied to the four primary goals. In essence, it is the study of designing equipment and processes that fit the human body and its cognitive abilities; the two terms "human factors" and "ergonomics" are synonymous. The International Ergonomics Association defines ergonomics or human factors as follows: Ergonomics is the scientific discipline concerned with the understanding of interactions among humans and other elements of a system, the profession that applies theory, principles and methods to design to optimize human well-being and overall system performance.
Human factors is employed to fulfill the goals of occupational safety and productivity. It is relevant in the design of such things as safe furniture and easy-to-use interfaces to machines and equipment. Proper ergonomic design is necessary to prevent repetitive strain injuries and other musculoskeletal disorders, which can develop over time and can lead to long-term disability. Human factors and ergonomics is concerned with the "fit" between the user and environment or "fitting a person to a job", it accounts for the user's capabilities and limitations in seeking to ensure that tasks, functions and the environment suit that user. To assess the fit between a person and the used technology, human factors specialists or ergonomists consider the job being done and the demands on the user. Ergonomics draws on many disciplines in its study of humans and their environments, including anthropometry, mechanical engineering, industrial engineering, industrial design, information design, physiology, cognitive psychology and organizational psychology, space psychology.
The term ergonomics first entered the modern lexicon when Polish scientist Wojciech Jastrzębowski used the word in his 1857 article Rys ergonomji czyli nauki o pracy, opartej na prawdach poczerpniętych z Nauki Przyrody. The French scholar Jean-Gustave Courcelle-Seneuil without knowledge of Jastrzębowski's article, used the word with a different meaning in 1858; the introduction of the term to the English lexicon is attributed to British psychologist Hywel Murrell, at the 1949 meeting at the UK's Admiralty, which led to the foundation of The Ergonomics Society. He used it to encompass the studies in which he had been engaged during and after World War II; the expression human factors is a predominantly North American term, adopted to emphasize the application of the same methods to non-work-related situations. A "human factor" is a physical or cognitive property of an individual or social behavior specific to humans that may influence the functioning of technological systems; the terms "human factors" and "ergonomics" are synonymous.
Ergonomics comprise three main fields of research: physical and organizational ergonomics. There are many specializations within these broad categories. Specializations in the field of physical ergonomics may include visual ergonomics. Specializations within the field of cognitive ergonomics may include usability, human–computer interaction, user experience engineering; some specializations may cut across these domains: Environmental ergonomics is concerned with human interaction with the environment as characterized by climate, pressure, light. The emerging field of human factors in highway safety uses human factor principles to understand the actions and capabilities of road users – car and truck drivers, cyclists, etc. – and use this knowledge to design roads and streets to reduce traffic collisions. Driver error is listed as a contributing factor in 44% of fatal collisions in the United States, so a topic of particular interest is how road users gather and process information about the road and its environment, how to assist them to make the appropriate decision.
New terms are being generated all the time. For instance, "user trial engineer" may refer to a human factors professional who specializes in user trials. Although the names change, human factors professionals apply an understanding of human factors to the design of equipment and working methods to improve comfort, health and productivity. According to the International Ergonomics Association, within the discipline of ergonomics there exist domains of specialization. Physical ergonomics is concerned with human anatomy, some of the anthropometric and bio mechanical characteristics as they relate to physical activity. Physical ergonomic principles have been used in the design of both consumer and indu