What is Human Factors Research

New master's degree in Human Factors Psychology

from summer semester 2021 (application deadline November 15, 2020)

This information as a PDF file

What is human factors psychology?

More and more technical systems accompany us in our work and everyday life. Just think of the vacuum robot, the smart home, robot-assisted surgery or the brake assistant in motor vehicles. It is also becoming more and more demanding to design the human-machine interfaces in such a way that they are optimally tailored to human needs. Human Factors Psychology examines this and other exciting questions on the basis of general psychological knowledge about human perception and cognition and using current research methods.

This means that we understand human factors as an interdisciplinary approach to research into human-machine interaction, in which the human psyche is in the foreground. The modern psychological perspective is based on and extends related concepts such as industrial psychology, psychotechnology, ergonomics and anthropometry.


Occupational fields of the human factors focus

Ease of use and security are becoming increasingly important in all high-tech markets, in the healthcare system and in the public sector. At the same time, apparently trivial things such as lamps or lawn mowers are given additional functions that require an interface. The acceptance of these products stands or falls with the psychological accessibility of the user interface. The market for human factors experts is a growth market.


What can you expect in the course?

In the Human Factors focus of the Master of Science Psychology course, you will get to know areas of application in the form of seminars and application-oriented projects and will enable you to develop and evaluate design solutions. To do this, you will penetrate the perceptual and cognitive basics of human factors psychology, train the application of the relevant research and analysis methods and deal with topics such as product ergonomics, concepts of human-friendly work design, taxonomies for differentiating between complex systems, automation, resilience engineering and much more. m. apart.

In the modules, specific thematic focal points are set, in which we i. d. R. Involve experts from the field, such as B. traffic psychology, aerospace or virtual reality. The focus also includes a module that deals with specific project work on a topic of the student's choice and within the framework of which a master's thesis can be prepared.

Since the focus on human factors is based on classical psychology, you will receive a comprehensive insight into the other sub-areas of psychology (compulsory and elective modules on methods and statistics, diagnostics, development, clinical psychology, etc.) in addition to the specific content on human factors.

The Module manual you'll find here.


What requirements do you have to meet?

You are interested in experimental research on perception and cognition and in application-oriented research in the field of human factors / applied cognitive psychology. You have successfully completed a bachelor's degree in psychology or another related discipline. The latter include in particular engineering, physics, biology and computer science.

To Online application get here.


Who are we?

The department of General Experimental Psychology (Univ.-Prof. Dr. Heiko Hecht) and all departments of the Psychological Institute of the University of Mainz are responsible for the human factors major. The junior professorship Human Factors belongs to our department. You can see an overview of the employees here. They are happy to answer any further questions.


Our ongoing research projects

  • Camera monitor systems in vehicles
  • Use of auditory and visual information in traffic scenarios
  • Cybersickness
  • Virtual and Augmented Reality
  • Time perception and workload
  • Change in perceptual performance under artificial gravity
  • Operability of touch displays in aircraft
  • Vestibular training to reduce VIMS in flight simulators
  • Use of head-mounted displays in aircraft


Our cooperation partners

  • Mainz mobility / Mainz transport company
  • Department for Ergonomics, Testing and Application-Oriented Aeromedical Research, Center for Aerospace Medicine of the Air Force
  • Human Factors Engineering and Flight Deck - Airbus Defense and Space
  • Accident research by insurers (UDV)