MS in Psychology, Option in Human Factors
Click on above photo to meet the Human Factors program students
Human factors (also known as ergonomics or human engineering) is a scientific discipline which examines human behavior and capabilities in order to find the best ways to design products, equipment and systems for maximum safe, effective, satisfying use by people. Professionals in the area of human factors apply their skills in a variety of areas, including aerospace systems, computer software and hardware design, industrial and office settings, educational technology, consumer products, usability analysis and virtual reality. Employment areas may be in Academic Institutions, Industry, Military-related Research Centers and Independent Consultant. Job titles include professor, human factors engineer, ergonomist, technician specialist, safety scientist, consultant and research scientist.
Human factors research and engineering are concerned with enhancing the productivity of workers and increasing the level of satisfaction of workers with their jobs, in addition to improving the safety of work situations. Equipment design can be blamed, at least in part, for many of the errors that people make, both on the job and elsewhere.
The MS in Psychology, Option in Human Factors at CSULB is designed to prepare students to apply human factors skills to the design of jobs, information systems, consumer products, workplaces and equipment in order to improve user performance, safety and comfort. The Human Factors program is designed as a terminal MS degree, but it also provides excellent preparation for advanced graduate work. This program is accredited by the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, the accrediting board for human factors programs in the U.S.
Faculty in the CSULB MS in Psychology, Option in Human Factors program are currently working on a number of topics such as human-computer interaction, usability testing, auditory/visual display design, knowledge engineering and decision making. Students in the program acquire a background in experimental psychology and research methods. They are trained in the application of the material through courses in human factors, computer applications and interface design. Special topics seminars, in areas such as large-scale simulation and usability testing, complement the core program of study. Finally, students complete a thesis in their chosen area of human factors.
MSHF PROGRAM – STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES
At the end of the program, students should have the ability to:
1. Apply knowledge of psychology to the design of jobs, information systems, consumer products, workplaces, and equipment to improve user performance, safety and comfort.
2. Apply methodologies that are used in the design of human-machine systems.
3. Design research to answer basic and applied issues in Human Factors.
Publicatons about the CSULB MS in Psychology, Option in Human Factors program:
Program Description Brochure
The Beach Review
Inside CSULB - Research Center 2004
This Week at the Beach
2009-2014 NASA Grant Award
CSULB Press Release on NASA Grant Award 2009
HFES Bulletin Article on CHAAT Outreach Programs
MSHF Students Present Posters at NASA Ames’ Summer Institute
CSULB Press Release on Outreach Program 2011
Inside CSULB – 7th Annual Regional Human Factors Conference 2012
PREREQUISITES TO ENROLLMENT IN THE MS IN PSYCHOLOGY, OPTION IN HUMAN FACTORS PROGRAM:
Applicants to the MS in Psychology, Option in Human Factors (MSHF) program are expected to have a bachelor’s degree with a major in Psychology or 24 upper division units of Psychology coursework. The following courses (or their equivalents) must be included. Students may be admitted to the Human Factors program if they lack only the intermediate statistics course (PSY 310). This course must be completed within the first semester of graduate study.
Prerequisite Coursework must include the following CSULB courses (or equivalents, to be determined by Psychology Dept.):
PSY 310 (Intermediate Statistics)
PSY 331 (Sensation & Perception)
PSY 332 (Cognition)
See Prerequisite course descriptions below:
PSY 310. Intermediate Statistics (3)
Prerequisites: PSY 210 or introductory statistics course.
Basic theoretical concepts of statistics and the use of these concepts in the selection and development of model testing, hypothesis testing and parameter estimation procedures. Both single measure (univariate) and correlational (bivariate) concepts will be covered.
PSY 331. Sensation and Perception (3)
Prerequisite: PSY 200.
Basic phenomena of the senses, their physiological correlates and integration in complex perceptual judgments.
PSY 332. Cognition (3)
Prerequisite: PSY 200. Study of higher-order processes basic to the acquisition of knowledge. Includes thinking, problem solving, creativity, information processing, decision making, judgment, concepts and imagination.
PREREQUISITES FOR CERTAIN CSULB PSYCHOLOGY GRADUATE COURSES:
You may offer equivalent courses for evaluation by the Graduate Advisor (at the time of application):
100. General Psychology (3)
Introduction to the scientific study of human behavior. Designed to provide the student with a basic background for further study and for practical application in everyday life.
210. Introductory Statistics (4)
Prerequisites: PSY 100 and completion of a mathematics course suitable for General Educational credit. Calculation and meaning of statistical measures. Descriptive and inferential statistics: probability, normal curve, correlation, sampling, hypothesis testing.
241. Psychobiology (3)
Prerequsite: PSY 100. Introduction to the study of behavior from a biological point of view. Biological systems and processes underlying behavior, with emphasis on brain mechanisms, presented in the context of fundamental concepts and issues in psychology.
36-UNIT PROGRAM REQUIRED COURSES
1. PSY 511 Statistical Design and Analysis of Experiments
2. PSY 518 Computer Applications in Psychology
3. PSY 527 Human Factors
4. PSY 533 Research in Cognition and Learning
PSY 634 Seminar in Cognition
5. PSY 627 Human Factors’ Methods
6. PSY 633 Seminar in Perception and Attention
7. PSY 635 Seminar on Situation Awareness
8. MAE 508 Systems Engineering and Integration
9. CECS 448 User Interface Design
10. PSY 698 Thesis (6 units)
And one elective course chosen from the following:
- PSY 512 Multivariate Analysis
- PSY 544 Cognitive Neuroscience
- PSY 696 Research Methods
- PSY 697 Directed Research
- ENGL 419 Writing in Science and Technology
The department is located in the Psychology Building, a four-story structure which houses faculty and graduate student offices, a newly constructed computer lab, and laboratories for faculty and student research in the major areas of Psychology. Human factors experience can be obtained in two Centers and various laboratories in the Psychology Building:
- The Center for Human Factors in Advanced Aeronautics Technologies (CHAAT), a state-of-the-art facility for research and simulations of advanced air technologies and air traffic management issues. You must be a US citizen to participate in CHAAT.
The Center for Usability in Design and Assessment (CUDA), a usability testing laboratory that provides real-world hands-on experience in usability testing and interface design.
Perceptual, cognitive, and neuroscience research laboratories provide ample space and equipment for research in a variety of areas including auditory and visual perception, cognitive psychology, aviation psychology and human-computer.
PhD, University of Virginia
Cognitive control processes: stimulus-response compatibility effects:
goal intentions and environmental biases interaction
PhD, University of Arizona
Auditory-visual space perception; auditory-visual displays;
multisensory interaction; human factors; human-computer interaction
University Achievement Award
PhD, Purdue University
Human factors, cognition, performance, human-computer interaction
Inside CSULB article on Research
Early Career Excellence Award
Inside CSULB article on Excellence Award
PhD, University of Toronto
Figurative language; reading; evolutionary psychology; attention; cognition.
Kenneth F. Green
PhD, University of Massachusetts
Central mechanisms of pain inhibition; physiological psychology.
PhD, UC Berkeley
Biological psychology; cognitive methology
PhD, Syracuse University
Cognitive and neural basis of selective attention; attention; memory
Psychology Department Graduate Assistant Positions
The Psychology department has a number of graduate assistantship positions available. These provide financial support and professional experience, as well as additional contact between students and faculty. These positions are awarded on a competitive basis to new and continuing students. Types of positions include graduate assistants in department laboratory and other courses.
Students interested in serving as a Graduate Assistant (GA) should submit a GA application to the Graduate Advisor. Applications and appointments are semester specific. Positions are open until filled. Applications are due April 15th for the Fall semester and November 15th for the Spring semester.
Applications are accessed and printed from the department web site. Applications should be sent to the Graduate Advisor’s Office.
TYPES OF GA JOBS
Each semester the department of Psychology hires about 10-13 graduate assistants to perform various activities. The assignments are usually 10 hours per week for 17 weeks in the Fall and 17 weeks in the Spring. Most GA assignments fall into two major categories. Some assignments are to assist in the introductory research methods course. This involves preparing materials, grading papers and assisting students. Other GA assignments support introductory and intermediate statistics courses. These assignments generally involve grading papers, assisting students and helping students with various statistical software packages. Both research methods and statistics GA positions also involve providing support for the department computer lab. An EEO/AA/Title IX policy is followed.
BENEFITS OF A GA POSITION
- Financial: If appointed for 10 hours of work each week, a first year GA receives approximately $5000 per year. There are some 10 hour per week positions available.
- Educational: By teaching, GAs can further develop their own psychological skills.
- Experiential: Working closely with a faculty member can add to a GA’s knowledge and experience.
- Convenience: Having a job on campus can save travel time and study time.
J. Robert Newman Scholars Program
Due to a generous bequeathment from a faculty member beloved by students, staff and colleagues, the Psychology department is able to award two students funding that will cover the cost of in-state enrollment fees and provide an allowance for books or other related costs. The MAPR and MSIO committees may each select an outstanding incoming student as a J. Robert Newman scholar. The recipient receives $1250/semester, up to four semesters.
Human Factors students, who are US citizens, may apply for a scholarship of $3000 per semester award, which will allow the recipient to work in the Center for Human Factors in Advanced Aeronautics Technologies (CHAAT). The number of scholarships awarded each semester will be determined by the number of qualified students and the availability of funds from the Boeing Co. University Relations Award Program and the NASA University Research Center Scholarship award. Students may apply and earn one of the awards for more than one semester. Master’s programs’ applicants may apply for the first semester of their program with their department application.