Aviation Psychology and Human Factors
eBook - ePub

Aviation Psychology and Human Factors

Monica Martinussen, David R. Hunter

  1. 348 páginas
  2. English
  3. ePUB (apto para móviles)
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eBook - ePub

Aviation Psychology and Human Factors

Monica Martinussen, David R. Hunter

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This book covers the application of psychological principles and techniques to situations and problems of aviation. It offers an overview of the role psychology plays in aviation, system design, selection and training of pilots, characteristics of pilots, safety, and passenger behavior. It covers concepts of psychological research and data analysis and shows how these tools are used in the development of new psychological knowledge. The new edition offers material on physiological effects on pilot performance, a new chapter on aviation physiology, more material on fatigue, safety culture, mental health and safety, as well as practical examples and exercises after each chapter.

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CRC Press
1.1What Is Aviation Psychology?
Since the primary target of this book is the student of aviation, not the student of psychology, it seems prudent to begin with a few definitions. This will set some bounds for our discussions and for the reader’s expectations. The title of the book includes two key terms: “aviation psychology” and “human factors.” We included both those terms because they are often used interchangeably, although that is a disservice to both disciplines. While we will touch on some of the traditional areas of human factors in Chapter 7 on the design of aviation systems, our primary focus is on aviation psychology. Therefore, we will dwell at some length on what we mean by that particular term.
Psychology* is commonly defined as the science of behavior and mental processes of humans, although the behavior of animals is also frequently studied—usually as a means to better understand human behavior. Within this broad area, there are numerous specialties. The American Psychological Association (APA), the largest professional organization of psychologists, lists over 50 divisions, each representing a separate aspect of psychology. These include several divisions concerned with various aspects of clinical psychology along with divisions concerned with such diverse issues as consumer behavior, school psychology, rehabilitation, the military, and addiction. All of these are concerned with understanding how human behavior and mental processes influence or are influenced by the issues of their particular domain.
Clearly, psychology covers a very broad area—literally, any behavior or thought is potential grist for the psychologist’s mill. To understand exactly what this book will cover, let us consider what we mean by aviation psychology. Undoubtedly, students of aviation will know what the first part of the term means, but what is included under psychology, and why do we feel justified, even compelled, to distinguish between aviation psychology and the rest of the psychological world?
First, let us immediately dismiss the popular image of psychology. We do not include in our considerations of aviation psychology reclining on a couch recounting our childhood and the vicissitudes of our emotional development. That popular image of psychology belongs more to the area of clinical psychology, or perhaps even psychoanalysis. Although clinical psychology is a major component of the larger field of psychology, it has little relevance to aviation psychology. That is not to say that pilots and others involved in aviation are not subject to the same mental foibles and afflictions that beset the rest of humanity. Neither would we suggest that aspects of the human psyche usually addressed in a clinical setting could have no influence on human performance in an aviation setting. Quite the opposite, we assert that all aspects of the mental functioning of pilots, maintainers, air traffic controllers, and the supporting cadre inescapably influence behavior for better or worse. Rather, we wish to dissociate aviation psychology from the psychotherapeutic focus of traditional clinical psychology. Aviation psychology may concern itself with the degree of maladaptive behavior evidenced by excessive drinking or with the confused ideation associated with personality disorders, but it does so for the purpose of understanding and predicting the effects of those disorders and behaviors on aviation-related activities, not for the purpose of affecting a cure.
Ours is a much more basic approach. We are concerned not just with the behavior (what people do) and ideation (what people think) of those with various mental disturbances. Rather, we are concerned with how people in general behave. Psychology at its most inclusive level is the study of the behavior of all people. Psychology asks why under certain conditions people behave in a certain way and under different conditions they behave in a different way. How do prior events, internal cognitive structures, skills, knowledge, abilities, preferences, attitudes, perceptions, and a host of other psychological constructs (see Section 1.4) influence behavior? Psychology asks those questions, and psychological science provides the mechanism for finding answers. This allows us to understand and to predict human behavior.
We may define aviation psychology as the study of individuals engaged in aviation-related activities. The goal of aviation psychology then is to understand and to predict the behavior of individuals in an aviation environment. Being able, even imperfectly, to predict behavior has substantial benefits. Predicting accurately how a pilot will react (behave) to an instrument reading will allow us to reduce pilot error by designing instruments that are more readily interpretable and that do not lead to incorrect reactions. Predicting how a maintenance technician will behave when given a new set of instructions can lead to increased productivity through reduction of the time required to perform a maintenance action. Predicting how the length of rest breaks will affect an air traffic controller when faced with a traffic conflict can lead to improved safety. Finally, predicting the result of a corporate restructuring on the safety culture of an organization can identify areas in which conflict is likely to occur and areas in which safety is likely to suffer.
From this general goal of understanding and predicting the behavior of individuals in aviation environment, we can identify three more specific goals. They are, first, to reduce error by humans in aviation settings; second, to increase the productivity; and third, to increase the comfort of both the workers and their passengers. To achieve these goals requires the coordinated activities of many groups of people. These include pilots, maintainers, air traffic control operators, the managers of aviation organizations, baggage handlers, fuel truck drivers, caterers, meteorologists, dispatchers, and cabin attendants. All of these groups, plus many more, have a role in achieving those three goals of safety, efficiency, and comfort. However, since covering all those groups is clearly beyond the scope of a single book, we have chosen to focus on the pilot, with only a few diversions into the activities of these other groups. Another reason for choosing pilots is that the majority of research has been conducted on pilots. This is slowly changing, and more research is being conducted using air traffic controllers, crew members, and other occupational groups involved in aviation.
In this, we enlist contributions from several subdisciplines within the overall field of psychology. These include physiological psychology, engineering psychology, and its closely related discipline of human factors, personnel psychology, cognitive psychology, and organizational psychology. This listing also matches, to a fair degree, the order in which we develop our picture of aviation psychology—starting from fairly basic considerations of human physiology and culminating in an examination of human decision-making and accident involvement.
Although aviation psychology draws heavily upon the other disciplines of psychology, those other disciplines are also heavily indebted to aviation psychology for many of their advances, particularly in the area of applied psychology. This is due primarily to the historic ties of aviation psychology to military aviation. For a number of reasons aviation, and pilots in particular, have always been a matter of very high concern to the military. Training of military pilots is an expensive and lengthy process, so considerable attention has been given, since the First World War, to improving the selection of these individuals so as to reduce failures in training—the provenance of personnel and training psychology. Similarly, the great cost of aircraft and their loss due to accidents contributed to the development of engineering psychology and human factors. Human interaction with automated systems, now a great concern in the computer age, has been an issue of study for decades in aviation, beginning from the introduction of flight director systems and in recent years the advanced glass cockpits. Much of the research developed in an aviation setting for these advanced systems is equally germane to the advanced displays and controls that will soon appear in automobiles and trucks.
In addition, studies of the interaction of crew members on airliner flight decks and the problems that...


  1. Cover
  2. Half Title
  3. Title Page
  4. Copyright Page
  5. Contents
  6. Preface
  7. Authors
  8. Chapter 1: Introduction
  9. Chapter 2: Research Methods and Statistics
  10. Chapter 3: Aviation Physiology
  11. Chapter 4: Abilities and Personality Traits
  12. Chapter 5: Personnel Selection
  13. Chapter 6: Training
  14. Chapter 7: Human Factors and the Design of Aviation Systems
  15. Chapter 8: Stress and Human Reactions
  16. Chapter 9: Culture, Organizations, and Leadership
  17. Chapter 10: Aeronautical Decision-Making
  18. Chapter 11: Aviation Safety
  19. Chapter 12: Concluding Remarks
  20. Index
Estilos de citas para Aviation Psychology and Human Factors

APA 6 Citation

Martinussen, M., & Hunter, D. (2017). Aviation Psychology and Human Factors (2nd ed.). CRC Press. Retrieved from https://www.perlego.com/book/1521886/aviation-psychology-and-human-factors-pdf (Original work published 2017)

Chicago Citation

Martinussen, Monica, and David Hunter. (2017) 2017. Aviation Psychology and Human Factors. 2nd ed. CRC Press. https://www.perlego.com/book/1521886/aviation-psychology-and-human-factors-pdf.

Harvard Citation

Martinussen, M. and Hunter, D. (2017) Aviation Psychology and Human Factors. 2nd edn. CRC Press. Available at: https://www.perlego.com/book/1521886/aviation-psychology-and-human-factors-pdf (Accessed: 14 October 2022).

MLA 7 Citation

Martinussen, Monica, and David Hunter. Aviation Psychology and Human Factors. 2nd ed. CRC Press, 2017. Web. 14 Oct. 2022.