Studies in Personnel and Industrial Psychology

By Edwin A. Fleishman | Go to book overview

a completely revised textbook of human engineering, perhaps entitled The Engineering Properties of the Man, which will present to engineers in a form which is useful to them the system-relevant facts of psychology as then known. Instead of conventional chapter headings like "Seeing," "Hearing," "Speaking," "Moving," and "Working." it might contain such rubics as "Mechanical Properties of the Man," "Transduction," "Informational Capacity and Bandwidth," "Linear Properties of the Man" (including analogue addition, integration, differentiation, and multiplication by constants), and "Nonlinear Properties of the Man" (including, it must be confessed, most everything else). Such a treatise, when it is written, will certainly be welcomed by the system designer, and he will waste no time in putting the information to use.


63. Some Concepts and Methods for the
Conduct of Man-Machine System
Research in a Laboratory Setting*

Paul M. Fitts, Lowell Schipper, Jerry S. Kidd, Maynard Shelly, and Conrad Kraft

GENERAL ACCEPTANCE has recently been gained for the idea that human- factor specialists can make an important contribution to the design of man-machine systems. This contribution lies in helping to decide such important questions as those pertaining to the allocation of functions between men and machines, planning for the work loads on individual operators, and the optimum coupling of men and machines. However, few efforts have been made to bring such system-design problems into the laboratory where they can be subjected to controlled experimental study. This lack of work has been due chiefly to lack of the necessary simulation equipment, and of appropriate methods. The present paper reviews the concepts and methods, and some selected results of an experimental

____________________
*
The project was initiated in 1950, work being done for the National Research Council with funds provided by the Air Navigation Development Board. Since 1952 the research program has been supported by contracts [AF 33 (616)-43 and AF 33 (616)-3612] between the Wright Air Development Center and the Ohio State University Research Foundation.

From "Some Concepts and Methods for the Conduct of System Research in a Laboratory Setting," Air Force Human Engineering, Personnel, and Training Research, G. Finch and F. Cameron (eds.) ( Washington, D.C.: National Academy of Science--National Research Council), publication 516, 1958.

-596-

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