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Adaptive Perspectives on Human–Technology InteractionMethods and Models for Cognitive Engineering and Human-Computer Interaction$
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Alex Kirlik

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195374827

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195374827.001.0001

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What Makes Vicarious Functioning Work? Exploring the Geometry of Human–Technology Interaction

What Makes Vicarious Functioning Work? Exploring the Geometry of Human–Technology Interaction

Chapter:
(p.179) 13 What Makes Vicarious Functioning Work? Exploring the Geometry of Human–Technology Interaction
Source:
Adaptive Perspectives on Human–Technology Interaction
Author(s):

Asaf Degani

Michael Shafto

Alex Kirlik

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195374827.003.0017

This chapter provides a Brunswikian perspective on human interaction with everyday technologies, such as traffic lights, automotive devices (e.g., warning systems), and also advanced technologies, such as flight control systems in modern airliners. It applies this perspective toward suggesting a framework for evaluating interface designs and for ultimately improving the usability, robustness, and effectiveness of a range of interactive technologies. A field study of human-automation interaction in commercial aviation is described. The crucial role played by continuity in supporting the intuitive, adaptive mode behavior Brunswik described as vicarious functioning is addressed. In addition, the implications for the design of human-automation interaction are given. It is hoped that the insights that have been offered about the geometry of human-technology interaction will take at least a small step toward remedying the user frustration, confusion, and in the case of high-risk systems, the possibility of disaster.

Keywords:   human-technology interaction, geometry, traffic lights, warning systems, flight control systems, Brunswikian perspective, vicarious functioning

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