Undergraduate Certificate Program In Human Factors Psychology

What is Human Factors Psychology?

Human Factors is the scientific discipline concerned with the understanding of interactions among humans and other elements of a system, and the profession that applies theory, principles, data, and methods to design in order to optimize human well-being and overall system performance. Human Factors Psychologists study human capabilities and limitations and apply that knowledge to systems and environments to enhance human performance.

Certificate Program in Human Factors Psychology

This certificate program is designed to provide background and experience in human factors psychology for undergraduate students preparing for graduate study or entrance into the workforce. The program is designed to provide undergraduate students with the appropriate background and training to conduct research in a human factors laboratory within the psychology department. The certificate program consists of six required courses, one of which is repeatable for additional credit. The special investigations course (PSY 608) will involve a research project in one of the human factors laboratories in the psychology department. The curriculum is designed to equip students with the skills necessary to function within a human factors, cognitive psychology, perceptual psychology, experimental psychology or business setting. The six required courses (17–19 credit hours) are:

  PSY 301 Psychology of Statistics (3)
  PSY 311 Research Methods in Psych (4)
  PSY 322 Cognitive Psychology (3)
  PSY 405 Human Factors Psychology (3)
  PSY 409 Psychology of Perception (3)
  PSY 608 Special Investigations (1-3)

Eligible students need not be psychology majors, but must have a WSU GPA, both overall and in their psychology courses, of at least 3.000. Eligible students must apply to the human factors psychology coordinator upon completion of, or current enrollment in, PSY 301, 311, 322, 405 and 409. Acceptance into the certificate program will guide enrollment in PSY 608 with one of the human factors laboratories in the department.

Gainful Employment: This certificate has been reviewed and is not a gainful employment program per U.S. Department of Education rules and regulations.

Human Factors Faculty Research Interests

Dr. Rui Ni
Visual Perception & Cognition Lab (VPC)
Vision, driving, and aging
Distance and motion perception in 3D space
Autonomous driving and situational awareness
Perceptual, cognitive, and physical training
Video game and virtual reality

Dr. Joel Suss
Applied Cognition & Expertise Lab (ACE)
Naturalistic Decision Making
Cognitive Task Analysis Expertise
Visual Attention
Accelerated Training

Dr. Carryl L. Baldwin 
Wichita Auditory Research Group (WARG)
Mental effort of auditory processing
Auditory display design
Sensory-Cognitive interaction
Auditory cognition in older adults
Driver Behavior
Music and performance

Dr. Lisa Vangsness
Challenge, Metacognition, and Perception Lab (ChaMP)
Judgments of Difficulty
Task Engagement
Risk Mitigation

Dr. Quan Lei
Vision and Accessibility Lab (VISA)
Attention, perception and memory
Low vision
Visual accessibility
Autonomous driving



Human Factors Research Groups

Driving - Research aimed at making human-driving systems safer through understanding the effects of aging, mind wandering, fatigue, and experience on driving performance. (Baldwin, Ni)

Aging - Research aimed at understanding the effects of age on cognition, perception, and action, and ways to mitigate these effects through perceptual training. (Ni)

Simulation, Gamification, & Training - Research aimed at developing and evaluating simulation/gamification-based training systems. (Ni, Suss)

Healthcare & Teamwork - Research focused on creating positive provider outcomes and increasing patient safety through better understanding of teamwork-technology integration in medical systems. (Suss)

Human-Computer Interaction - Research aimed at understanding and designing for human-technology interaction across software, devices, tools, and websites. (Ni, Suss)

Perception & Performance - Research aimed at using eye tracking and other methods to understand perceptual mechanisms and their responses to real world tasks. (Ni, Suss, Vangsness)