About Division 21

Applied experimental and engineering psychology is the application of psychological principles, knowledge and research to improve the ability of humans to operate more effectively in a technological society.

Division 21 members are research scientists and practitioners who study human interaction or involvement in areas such as:

  • Communication, decision making and computer information systems

  • Workplaces

  • Energy and transportation systems

  • Medical and health care settings

  • Consumer product design 

  • Living environments

The goal is safer, more effective, and more reliable systems through improved understanding of the user's requirements and performance capabilities.

Our role in the system design process is to ensure that human psychological, physiological and performance characteristics are addressed. Questions of interest include the following:

  • Will a particular design exceed the operator's capacity to respond or to process information?

  • Is there a better way to design a system that capitalizes on human strengths and compensates for human shortcomings?

  • What are the optimal training methods and procedures for systems and people?

  • Where did the system break down and how can it be fixed?

  • What kinds of human errors were exhibited and how can these be eliminated in the future?