HP3003 Engineering Psychology

Lin Qiu

Division of Psychology

Nanyang Technological University, Singapore


Course Description

This course introduces students to Engineering Psychology, a discipline aiming to understand human capabilities and limitations and use the knowledge to inform engineering design. Engineering psychology is an interdisciplinary field that spans psychophysics, cognitive psychology, ergonomics, human-computer interaction, and engineering design. We will focus on fundamental concepts in engineering psychology and how to use these concepts to solve real-world problems. We will also expose students to new and emerging issues in today’s engineering psychology.

Topics include:

·         Fundamental concepts in human performance such as memory, attention, learning, problem-solving, human error, and decision making.

·         Contemporary issues such as emotion and design, haptic interactions, and mobile interfaces.

·         Methods and tools for conducting engineering psychology studies.

Learning Objectives

Engineering psychology is a complex field involving a large number of approaches to solve issues in a wide range of settings and domains. It is not possible to go into detail about all different aspects of engineering psychology. Thus, this course will cover a limited number of concepts and domains that are relevant to today’s technological design, and focus on the application of psychological theories to solve real life problems.

As a result of this course, students will be able to:

·         Have an in-depth knowledge of the psychological concepts and principles critical for the design of human-technological systems.

·         Apply appropriate theories and methods in engineering psychology to facilitate engineering design.

·         Formulate research questions in the area of engineering psychology and conduct studies to address these questions.

·         Gain an insight into the new challenges and opportunities faced by engineering psychology research.


HP 101 (Introduction to Psychology) and HP102 (Fundamentals of Social Science Research)

Required Textbook

Wickens, C. D., &  Hollands, J. G. (1999). Engineering psychology and human performance (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Norman, D. A. (2005). Emotional Design: Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things. New York, NY: Basic Books.


Introduction to Engineering Psychology

Signal Detection, Attention, and Perception

Navigation and Interaction in Virtual Environments

The psychology of everyday things

User-centered Design

Emotion and Design

Socialization and Design

Culture and Design

Creativity and Design

Engineering psychology in industry