Human Factors Applied Research/ Professional Track

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PSY 694: Human Factors Work-Based Research Project

Goals & Objectives: The purpose of this course is the completion of a non-thesis work project. All students are expected to have a work project supervisor, who is a tenured or tenure track faculty member, to guide development of the work project. Unlike a thesis research project, the faculty advisor is expected to provide the students with a work problem for which they will design the work project to fulfill this course requirement. That is, the work project is not expected to be original and the scope of the project will need to be approved by the faculty advisor and course instructor. The course instructor provides supervision of important project milestones, including completion of proposals, progress reports, and final work reports and presentations. Students will also give oral presentations on the progress of their research projects.

The culminating product is the completion of a work project including a professional report, similar to a proceedings paper. The projects need to have a sound methodology for collecting data about a well-formed research question. The research question will be embedded in an applied context that likely addresses an applied topic such as an organizational or business issue but applying a sound methodology is critical. The project involves collecting and analyze a body of data that can produce reasonably reliable and valid conclusions. The project, data analyses (quantitative and/or qualitative), and report (both written and orally presented) should all reflect a master’s level skill.

Assignments to complete prior to 694 course start:

  1. Find a work project supervisor that will guide you in the development of your non-thesis project.  The non-thesis project should involve directed research (i.e., your advisor will provide you with the specific work project).  Note that your advisor may be willing to work with you on a project that you develop yourself, but this is completely at the discretion of your advisor.  You should find a work project supervisor early in the semester prior to the PSY 694 course.
  2. Complete a project proposal.  This proposal will be submitted to the PSY 694 instructor on the first day of classes in the Spring 2022 semester.  The proposal is short (~3 pages single spaced), but is expected to be well-polished. 
  3. Start important preparation for the project.  In coordination with your advisor, you should begin to collect relevant journal articles, and start planning your research method (do you need a computer program?, do you need to access an existing data set?)

Project Supervisors & their research:

Dr. Kim Vu: Basic research in perception-action relations (i.e., display-control compatibility effects), skill acquisition, and memory; applied research in human-computer interaction, training, usability and accessibility evaluation


Dr. Gabriella Hancock: Human performance under workload and stress (specializing in cognitive neuroscience methods and measures), and human-technology interaction.  Individual differences in motivation, particularly with regards to Self-Determination Theory


Dr. David Illingworth:  Basic research in cognitive decision theory and information foraging, with an emphasis on computational methodologies; applied research in human-computer interaction and decision support system development.


Dr. James Miles: Basic perception-action research, skill acquisition, visual attention, cognitive control, driving.



Gerry HanleyDr. Gerry Hanley: Usability evaluation of technology tools by faculty and impact on instruction and/or workforce preparation;  Analyses of user behaviors in using, personalizing, and contributing open educational resources and practices (MERLOT provides data sets) in higher education


Dr. Thomas Strybel: Audio, visual and audiovisual processing and displays, future air vehicles and airspace management concepts, aviation human factors,  situation awareness, driving, attention