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PSYC FPX 4100 Assessment 2 Applied Psychology in Professions

PSYC 4100 Assessment 2: Applied Psychology in Professions


Capella University


Professor’s Name

March 30, 2024

Applied Psychology in Professions

Applied psychology is a dynamic field that utilizes psychological principles and research to address practical issues and challenges encountered in various professional settings (Newman et al., 2021). It involves the application of psychological theories, methods, and interventions to improve individual and organizational outcomes across diverse domains such as healthcare, education, business, and law. Applied psychologists collaborate with professionals in different fields to enhance performance, promote well-being, and facilitate positive change. One specialized area within applied psychology is human factors psychology emphasizes the examination of human engagement with systems, products, and surroundings to enhance safety, effectiveness, and overall user satisfaction.

Human factors psychology, also known as ergonomics or engineering psychology, is a subfield of applied psychology that examines the relationship between people and their work environments (Karwowski & Zhang, 2021). It encompasses the study of human capabilities, limitations, and behaviors to design systems, products, and interfaces that are intuitive, user-friendly, and conducive to optimal performance. Human factors psychologists apply principles from psychology, engineering, and design to improve the usability, safety, and effectiveness of various technologies and environments. Through the integration of human factors into the planning and execution of systems, human factors psychologists aim to enhance user satisfaction, minimize errors, and promote overall well-being in professional settings such as healthcare, transportation, manufacturing, and information technology.

Description of the Historical Development of Human Factors Psychology

Human factors psychology has its roots in the early 20th century, primarily emerging from the fields of industrial engineering and military science. One significant milestone in the development of human factors psychology was during World War II when researchers and engineers were tasked with improving the efficiency and safety of military equipment and operations (Li et al., 2020). This led to the recognition of the importance of understanding human capabilities and limitations in the design of complex systems and technology.

Following World War II, human factors psychology began to gain recognition as a distinct field of study. The post-war era saw increased industrialization and technological advancements, leading to a greater need for understanding human-machine interactions (Kaplan et al., 2020). This period marked the establishment of academic programs and research institutes dedicated to human factors psychology, such as the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, founded in 1957.

Throughout the mid to late 20th century, human factors psychology experienced significant growth and diversification. It drew upon theories and methodologies from various disciplines, including psychology, engineering, physiology, and design (Jin & Juan, 2021). Major events such as the space race and the development of aviation technology further propelled the importance of human factors in ensuring safety and efficiency in complex systems.

Cultural factors were also significant in influencing the evolution of human factors psychology. The rise of consumerism and the emphasis on user experience in product design underscored the importance of considering human factors in the development of consumer products (Pappas et al., 2023). Additionally, societal concerns about workplace safety and environmental sustainability contributed to expanding human factors research into domains such as occupational health and environmental psychology.

Overall, the historical development of human factors psychology reflects a convergence of scientific advancements, technological innovations, and societal trends. It underscores the interdisciplinary nature of the field and its ongoing relevance in addressing contemporary challenges related to human well-being and performance in various professional settings.

Analysis of Societal or Cultural Needs to Develop Human Factors Psychology

The emergence and development of human factors psychology were significantly influenced by societal and cultural needs stemming from industrialization and technological advancement. As societies shifted from agricultural to industrialized economies in the late 1800s and early 1900s, there emerged an increasing awareness of the necessity to optimize human performance within the newly developed complex industrial systems. Industries such as manufacturing, transportation, and telecommunications require workers to interact with machinery and technology in ways that are efficient, safe, and productive (Neumann et al., 2021). However, the growing intricacy of these systems also led to a rise in accidents, errors, and inefficiencies, highlighting the need for a systematic approach to understanding human-machine interactions.

One pertinent example of societal need driving the development of human factors psychology is the air transportation sector. With the introduction of motorized flight in the beginning of the 20th century, aviation quickly became a critical mode of transportation (Yusaf et al., 2023). However, early aircraft designs often lacked consideration for human factors, leading to numerous accidents and fatalities. The societal need for safer and more efficient air travel spurred research efforts to understand the cognitive, perceptual, and ergonomic factors influencing pilot performance. This led to the development of cockpit design principles, crew resource management techniques, and aviation human factors guidelines aimed at reducing human error and enhancing aviation safety.

Similarly, the healthcare industry experienced significant societal demands for improved patient safety and quality of care, driving the development of human factors approaches in healthcare. Medical errors and adverse events were identified as leading causes of morbidity and mortality in healthcare settings, prompting efforts to integrate human factors principles into healthcare system design and patient care processes (McGrath et al., 2021). For example, the application of human factors principles in the design of medical devices, electronic health records, and hospital environments has been instrumental in reducing medication errors, improving communication among healthcare providers, and enhancing patient outcomes.

Overall, the societal and cultural needs for safer, more efficient, and user-friendly systems across various industries have been instrumental in shaping the development and evolution of human factors psychology. By addressing these needs, human factors psychologists play a crucial role in enhancing human performance, safety, and well-being in professional settings.

Analysis of How History of Counseling Psychology Informs Professional Behaviors

The history of human factors psychology provides valuable insights into professional behaviors within the field, guiding practitioners in understanding the importance of considering human capabilities and limitations in the design of systems, products, and environments. For example, the roots of human factors psychology in the early 20th century were driven by the need to improve the safety and efficiency of industrial and military operations (Singh, 2020). This historical context underscores the significance of prioritizing human well-being and performance in professional practice. Human factors professionals draw upon historical lessons to advocate for user-centered design approaches and to emphasize the importance of considering human factors early in the design process. By understanding the historical development of the field, professionals in human factors psychology can appreciate the foundational principles that shape their work and guide ethical decision-making in addressing contemporary challenges.

Furthermore, the study of the history and systems of human factors psychology provides professionals with a theoretical framework for understanding the evolution of concepts and methodologies within the field. By examining seminal works and landmark studies in human factors research, practitioners gain a deeper appreciation for the interdisciplinary nature of the field and the diverse perspectives that have contributed to its development (Ridley et al., 2021). For instance, the application of theories from psychology, engineering, and ergonomics has been instrumental in advancing knowledge about human-machine interactions and optimizing system performance. By integrating theory and knowledge from scholarly literature, professionals in human factors psychology can critically evaluate current practices, identify areas for improvement, and contribute to the ongoing evolution of the field. Ultimately, the history of human factors psychology informs professional behaviors by providing a rich context for understanding the principles, theories, and methodologies that underpin effective practice in optimizing human-system interactions.

PSYC 4100 Assessment 2 : Conclusion

In conclusion, the historical development of human factors psychology has played a pivotal role in shaping professional behaviors within the field. By understanding the societal and cultural needs that led to its emergence, practitioners are equipped with insights into the importance of prioritizing human well-being and performance in system design. Moreover, the study of historical milestones and theoretical frameworks provides professionals with a solid foundation for informed decision-making and innovative problem-solving. Moving forward, integrating lessons from the history of human factors psychology into professional practice remains essential for addressing contemporary challenges and advancing the field’s contributions to optimizing human-system interactions across various industries. As professionals continue to draw upon historical insights and scholarly knowledge, they are better positioned to navigate complex challenges and drive positive outcomes in applied psychology within healthcare organizations and beyond.

PSYC 4100 Assessment 2: References

Jin, Z., & Juan, Y. K. (2021). Is fengshui a science or superstition? A new approach combining the physiological and psychological measurement of indoor environments. Building and Environment, 201, 107992.

Kaplan, A. D., Kessler, T. T., & Hancock, P. A. (2020). How trust is defined and its use in human-human and human-machine interaction. Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting, 64(1), 1150–1154.

Karwowski, W., & Zhang, W. (2021). The discipline of human factors and ergonomics. Handbook of Human Factors and Ergonomics, 1–37.

Li, N., Huang, J., & Feng, Y. (2020). Human performance modeling and its uncertainty factors affecting decision making. Soft Computing, 24(4), 2851–2871.

McGrath, S. P., McGovern, K. M., Perreard, I. M., Huang, V., Moss, L. B., & Blike, G. T. (2021). Inpatient respiratory arrest associated with sedative and analgesic medications: Impact of continuous monitoring on patient mortality and severe morbidity. Journal of Patient Safety, 17(8), 557–561.

Neumann, W. P., Winkelhaus, S., Grosse, E. H., & Glock, C. H. (2021). Industry 4.0 and the human factor – A systems framework and analysis methodology for successful development. International Journal of Production Economics, 233, 107992.

Newman, A., Obschonka, M., Moeller, J., & Chandan, G. G. (2021). Entrepreneurial passion: A review, synthesis, and agenda for future research. Applied Psychology, 70(2).

‌Pappas, A., Fumagalli, E., Rouziou, M., & Bolander, W. (2023). More than machines: The role of the future retail salesperson in enhancing the customer experience. Journal of Retailing, 99(4).

Ridley, C. R., Sahu, A., Console, K., Surya, S., Tran, V., Xie, S., & Yin, C. (2021). The process model of multicultural counseling competence. The Counseling Psychologist, 49(4), 534–567.

Singh, A. (2020). Building a counseling psychology of liberation: The path behind us, under us, and before us. The Counseling Psychologist, 001100002095900.

Yusaf, T., Faisal Mahamude, A. S., Kadirgama, K., Ramasamy, D., Farhana, K., Al Dhahad, H., & Abu Talib, A. R. (2023). Sustainable hydrogen energy in aviation. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy.

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