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Individual Differences in Human Performance

Research focusing on individual differences in human performance is conducted by scholars who share an interest in a wide range of personality and individual difference variables that may affect performance, goal-oriented behavior, and behavioral reactions. Topics of study include cognitive abilities, motivation, emotion, expertise, personal values, and other cognitive and situational factors that affect behavior in complex environments.

Research Groups

Applied Cognition and Expertise Lab (ACE)


Decision Science & Decision Engineering Lab (DeSciDE)


Human Factors and Systems Modeling Lab

Individual differences are studied in transportation, based on the behavior and performance of a wide range of drivers. This includes comparisons of novice and experienced drivers and drivers engaged in a variety of tasks. In the area of management of systems, the effect of education and personality are considered in assessing effectiveness of management strategies.

Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Lab

The mission of the OSH lab is to employ human factors and ergonomics principles in conducting experimental and field research that addresses workplace safety and worker health and performance issues. Research in this lab involves investigating multifactorial causes and injury mechanisms of work-related musculoskeletal disorders, performance decrements, neuroergonomics, and individual risk factors, i.e., obesity and aging.

Mind, Music and Machine Lab

The ultimate goal of the Mind, Music and Machine lab is to create technologies to help people (what we call “Assistive Technology”) based on psychological knowledge and human factors principles. Research is focused on developing and enhancing technologies for special populations including blind people, people with cognitive impairment, children with autism, and old adults. Moreover, in this lab, individual differences of cognitive processes between novices and experts have also been studied in diverse domains such as driving, technology, music, and language.

Faculty Areas of Interest
Motivation Science; Self-Efficacy; Impact of Values on Behavior; Cognitive Dissonance; Individual Differences in STEM Learning
Judgment and Decision Making; Abilities, Biases, and Individual Differences; Risk Communication and Informed Choice; User Experience and Cognitive Engineering; Industrial and Organizational Psychology
Moral Psychology and Disagreement; Individual Differences; Applied Ethics; Group Interaction
Human-Computer Interaction/ User eXperience Design; Auditory Displays/ Sonification; Affective Computing/ Emotional Design; Automotive User Interfaces; Assistive Technology for Special Populations; Aesthetic Computing/ Media Art
Computational Modeling; Recognitional Decision Making; Perceptual and Memory Processes; Representations of Cultural Knowledge
Basic and applied attention; Models of attention; Human performance in aviation; Instructional design; Display design
Study of Expertise; Perceptual-Cognitive Skills; Training; Skill Acquisition; Applied Cognition; Cognitive Engineering; Human Factors; Sports Science