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Editorial: The cybernetic return in human factors and ergonomics

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journal contribution
posted on 28.06.2019 by Chris Baber, David Golightly, Patrick Waterson
Ergonomics has always been concerned with the study of systems and has developed over the course of fifty or so years a range of methods which allow systems to be described and analysed (Edwards and Lee, 1974; Kleiner and Hendrick, 2002; Wilson, 2014). However, we would argue that perennial problems relate to the study of systems that change with time and to systems which have many interacting components. These issues, of dynamics and complexity, becoming increasingly relevant to contemporary concerns with large-scale transport, safety-critical or medical systems, but are equally applicable to smaller systems. Consequently, there is a need to develop and extend methods which allow analysts to describe, analyse and make predictions about complex, dynamic systems. Such a concern is not new, however, and its roots can be traced back to the cybernetics movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Human Factors shares these roots and associated concerns with the notion of ‘system’ but has either lost touch with some of the quantitative approaches that developed from cybernetics, or has failed to grasp the implications of new analysis techniques that have developed from the studies of complex systems in other domains.

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Published in

Applied Ergonomics

Volume

79

Pages

86 - 90

Citation

BABER, C., GOLIGHTLY, D. and WATERSON, P., 2019. Editorial: The cybernetic return in human factors and ergonomics. Applied Ergonomics, 79, pp. 86 - 90.

Publisher

© Elsevier

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Applied Ergonomics and the definitive published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apergo.2019.01.011

Publication date

2019-02-14

ISSN

0003-6870

eISSN

1872-9126

Language

en

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