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Variability in Human Performance by Thomas Jay Smith

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By Thomas Jay Smith

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He points out further that researchers in the former camp are interested in only the variability manifest in experimental designs, whereas correlationalists are interested in examining 12 Variability in Human Performance variability among individuals and groups.  674) that individual differences are “an annoyance,” whereas for the correlational psychologist, the question of interest is how the characteristics of individuals determine their mode and degree of adaptation. It may be argued that the legacy of Cronbach’s insight is that a clear consensus has yet to emerge in behavioral science generally, and HF/E particularly, regarding scientific treatment of individual differences.

It may be involved in regulation of order, sequence, summing, separation, elaboration, and multiplication of biorhythms, integration, and/or serial interaction. It may interrelate movements, receptor functions, and physiological functioning, often to subserve human-tool or human-machine interaction, all on a positive active basis (homeokinesis), as contrasted with a purely negative feedback homeostatic basis with functional equilibrium as the end goal. , 1994; Flach & Hancock, 1992; Gibson, 1966, 1979; Gibson & Pick, 2000; Jagacinski & Flach, 2003, pp.

J. Smith, 1998). Principle 8: Cause and effect work both ways. As performance modifies design, design influences performance. Linear causation models of behavior may be considered at best incomplete, and at worst invalid, in that they fail to deal with the cybernetic reality of reciprocal influence and mutual interdependence between behavioral performance and design. Principle 9: Context specificity contributes to variability across all modes and patterns of human performance. Given that the role of context specificity in human performance variability has been empirically documented, with reasonable rigor, only for a limited number of performance examples (reviewed in Chapters 3 through 9), this principle must be considered almost entirely speculative.

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