Engineering Psychology is the study of how humans accomplish tasks in the context of human-machine systems and how we can improve their performance. The program emphasizes the application of fundamental and applied research to the solution of practical problems. Research foci include human perception and motor control, information processing, attention and performance, emotion and memory, mental workload, situational awareness and decision making, cognitive modeling, usability evaluation of systems, and technology use. The graduate program in Engineering Psychology provides research training in these domains with the objective of preparing students for employment in academia, government, and industry settings. Students who enroll in the graduate program of Engineering Psychology are expected to develop a strong background of research skills and a broad knowledge of both cognitive and perceptual psychology.
The faculty members in the Engineering Psychology program include:
Dr. Mei-Ching Lien (Attention and Performance Lab) – Research interests center around the use of behavioral and electrophysiological (e.g., EEG) measures to understand attention capture, individual working memory capacity in visual/spatial attention, cognitive control, mental workload, emotional processing, perception and action, and cognitive aging. Recent projects involve cognitive load in eLearning and the effect of video game experience on attention. (Currently accepting students.)
Dr. Kristen Macuga (CARVE Lab) – Research interests include perception and action, learning, spatial cognition, interface design, and human-computer interaction. Recent projects include using virtual reality to examine how drivers and pedestrians interact with automated vehicles, how neighboring pedestrians influence evacuation behavior, and how the brain's representation of the body changes following tool use. (Currently accepting students.)
Dr. Jason McCarley (PCP Lab) – Research interests include visual attention, decision making, and their manifestation in real-world tasks such as driving. (Currently accepting students.)
Dr. Christopher Sanchez (ACTUAL Lab) – Research interests include STEM learning, individual differences in attention/visuospatial abilities, and the human factors of using/designing technology, including mobile devices and gaming. (Currently accepting students.)