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Human Factors and Applied Cognition

Researchers in the Human Factors and Applied Cognition program apply fundamental and applied research to the solution of practical problems.

Program Overview

Our research and courses address include creating new knowledge about human capabilities and limitations, the design and evaluation of products, systems, and environments; human perception and performance; information processing, attention, and cognitive modeling; environmental stress; and safety and engineering principles. Our graduates are both in academia and industry, such as Virginia Tech, IBM, John Deere and Co., and SAS.

Here is a link to the Human Factors and Applied Cognition Program Brochure.

The Human Factors and Applied Cognition Program brochure provides contact information, a general description of the program, lists required and elective graduate courses, and lists the faculty and their research interests.

Program Requirements

All Human Factors and Applied Cognition doctoral students complete courses in statistics, ethics, research methods, cognition, perception, human factors, and interdisciplinary studies in addition to various seminars. Courses outside of core requirements may be taken to meet university requirements or to satisfy individual educational needs upon approval of the Graduate Advisory Committee.

Students are expected to develop research skills through a first-year research project, class research projects, thesis research, dissertation research, and additional research projects.  Conference participation and publications are highly encouraged.

Students are also expected to apply research skills by working in industry, government, or other institutional settings either prior to or during their stay in the department. This may involve part-time placement during the academic year or summer, or be satisfied by previous work experience.


Our ongoing research projects involve:

  • How pilots perceive motion in depth under conditions of limited visibility
  • How pilots judge their trajectory to touchdown during emergency landings
  • The effectiveness of highlighting cues, such as color and blinking, at attracting attention on a computer display
  • The costs/benefits of using such cues; factors that influence warning effectiveness
  • People’s perception of risk and hazard; visual information display design
  • Using technology to assist older adults’ cognitive processes
  • The use of mental models in evaluating team training

Because of the university’s convenient access to Research Triangle Park and to agencies/organizations such as the SAS Institute, IBM, and EPA, students are involved in various research projects in many applied settings.

Interdisciplinary Research

Our faculty and students work with others across the university and beyond to solve problems spanning psychology, education, computer science, safety, and design.

Collaborations within Psychology

The department holds four other research areas with active or potential collaborations: lifespan developmental psychology, applied social and community psychology, I/O psychology, and school psychology.

Research Facilities

The Department is currently housed on two floors of Poe Hall, a modern building on NC State‚Äôs North Campus. All laboratories and offices are connected to the internet through the campus network. The following laboratories are directed by the faculty: