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HFES Kickoff Scavenger Hunt!

Join us in a HF/E scavenger hunt. Sign up in teams no larger than 4 people and compete to show off your HF knowledge and win gift cards! Also, officer nominations will begin.

WHEN: April 4th at 1:30 pm
WHERE: Starting at McAdams 226

RSVP HERE

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/17Vvz5lEgjG9Pna8apnqcGToPsoGRA4K4kw00ruF0zFY/viewform

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Stanyar: IMPACT OF PHYSICAL AND PSYCHOSOCIAL WORKPLACE HAZARDS ON EMPLOYEE HEALTH: AN IRISH TALE OF CIVIL SERVANT WORKERS

Kyle Stanyar

When: Wednesday April 16th, 2014; 10:15am
Where: 419 Brackett Hall
Committee: Dr. Sinclair (Chair), Dr. Rosopa, Dr. McCubbin, and Dr. Merritt

IMPACT OF PHYSICAL AND PSYCHOSOCIAL WORKPLACE HAZARDS ON EMPLOYEE HEALTH: AN IRISH TALE OF CIVIL SERVANT WORKERS
Obesity, mental health problems, and absenteeism are both economic and health burdens for employers and employees. Research suggests that physical and psychosocial hazards in the workplace contribute to health risks and health problems among employees. There is a need for researchers to examine how exercise, diet, and age interact with the negative effects of workplace hazards upon health. Hypotheses 1a through 3b predicted that physical and psychosocial workplace hazards would negatively impact body mass index (BMI), general mental health, and sickness absences. Further, hypotheses 4a through 9b predicted that exercise and diet would buffer stress from occupational hazards upon BMI, mental health, and sickness absences. Finally, hypotheses 10a through 11b predicted that age would act as a moderator between occupational hazards and employee health outcomes. A sample of 16,651 civil servant workers from the Northern Ireland Civil Service Workforce were examined. The data was split into two groups based on salary; senior level pay grade and lower level pay grade. The results confirmed hypotheses 1a, 1b, 3a, 3b, 11a, and 11b for the lower level pay grade, but failed to support hypotheses 2 and 4a through 10b. Additionally, the results confirmed hypotheses 1b for the senior level pay grade; however the results failed to confirm hypotheses 1a and hypotheses 2 through 11b. Theoretical and organizational implications are discussed.

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Robertson: The Agreeableness of Conscientiousness: A Facet Level Examination of Personality, Interaction, and Curvilinearity on the Citizenship Behavior and Task Performance Relationship

Where: Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014 at 11:00am, Brackett 419

Committee: Dr. Patrick J. Rosopa (chair), Dr. Fred Switzer, Dr. Peg Tyler

Title: “The Agreeableness of Conscientiousness: A Facet Level Examination of Personality, Interaction, and Curvilinearity on the Citizenship Behavior and Task Performance Relationship”

Abstract: Recent research has highlighted that the relationship between organizational citizenship behavior and task performance is nonlinear such that the occurrence of task performance behaviors will decrease as more time and resources are devoted to organizational citizenship behaviors. This occurs because of the restrictions of resource allocation theory which posit that employee resources are finite and limited, so there will be some trade-off between engaging in various performance behaviors. The current study seeks to examine the potential moderating effect of certain facets of agreeableness, conscientiousness, and their interaction. Agreeableness is thought to moderate the relation between individually focused citizenship (OCB-I) and task performance by accelerating the decrease in performance; conscientiousness is thought to moderate the relation between organizationally focused citizenship (OCB-O) decelerating the decrease in performance. Three way interactions of personality and citizenship will also be examined. Additionally, the mediating effect of job satisfaction will be analyzed because it has been shown to be important in forming the relationship between dispositional characteristics and performance behaviors.

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Wilson: ASSESSING THE BITE COUNTER AS A WEIGHT LOSS TOOL

ASSESSING THE BITE COUNTER AS A WEIGHT LOSS TOOL on Tuesday, April 8, 2014, in Brackett Hall, Room 419, at 1030 am.
ABSTRACT

Obesity is a growing health concern throughout the world. Health risks associated with obesity such as diabetes and heart disease result in obesity costing us over $170 million annually. Self-monitoring of Energy Intake (EI) is a critical element of a successful weight loss plan; however current methods to monitor EI are cumbersome and prone to under reporting. The primary purpose of the study was to develop and test an experimental diet protocol based on user feedback from the Bite Counter. A secondary purpose was to examine if this protocol would affect meaningful weight loss by device users. Data were collected from 30 participants (15 control) in a study where Bite Counter feedback was used to titrate daily bite count goals in order to meet a 1 to 2 pound per week weight loss goal measured against the control group which was only given weight loss literature. 77% of our participants were able to use the device to self-monitor a majority of the eating activities. Although weight loss was higher in the Bite Counter group, we determined that a diet protocol based solely on using the Bite Counter did not produce statistically significant weight loss over the ten-week study period. The Bite Counter was able to help the control group sustain their weight loss throughout the entire study period. The study determined that aggressive screening measures during study uptake is needed in order to ensure the recruitment of participants who are likely to complete future studies. User profile personas were developed to assist future researcher identify and classify users as successful or unsuccessful candidates for losing weight using the Bite Counter.

Committee Chair: Dr. Eric Muth
Committee Members: Dr. Adam Hoover and Dr. Patrick Rosopa

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HFDG: Is genetics the key?? … Individual differences in the design of interfaces and training programs

Is genetics the key?? … Individual differences in the design of interfaces and training programs
Dr. Ericka Rovira

Place: 419 Brackett Hall
Time: 1:00-2:00 pm Friday, March 28

(note, this will be a teleconferenced presentation)

Abstract: Human performance may be adversely affected when operators interact with highly reliable but imperfect systems. To date, models of human automation interaction emphasize how much authority the human or the machine should have at different decision making stages. Of particular interest is how human automation interactions are affected when the automated support tool is imperfect. The current research addresses types of human automation interaction mechanisms that may reduce performance decrements associated with imperfect automation. Results investigating contextual automation and automation etiquette will be presented. Additionally, optimizing human performance often requires assessment at the individual level because it provides an understanding of how individual variability contributes to operational performance. Molecular methods have been used to examine the genetic basis of basic cognitive function (Greenwood & Parasuraman, 2003; Posner et al., 2007). Individual differences in situation awareness and decision making in operational environments likely involve variation in cognitive processes of visual attention, working memory, and spatial attention. Research examining the utility and viability of using the allelic association method as a neuroergonomics approach that examines brain function in relation to operational tasks will be presented. This will pave the way for further theoretical progress in learning about the basis of individual differences in cognition and in human factors applications for training and interface design.

Dr. Ericka Rovira. She is an Associate Professor in the Engineering Psychology program at the United States Military Academy in West Point, NY. Dr. Rovira received a B.S. in Engineering Psychology and Biomedical Engineering from Tufts University, Medford, MA (2000) and a Ph. D. in Applied Experimental Psychology from The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC (2006), under the direction of Dr. Raja Parasuraman. Also, she is currently the president-elect of APA Division 21 (Applied Experimental and Engineering Psychology).

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Nathan Klein dissertation defense

Nathan Klein
Dissertation Defense
Understanding and Improving Pedagogical Aspects of a General Education Eportfolio
Chair: Benjamin Stephens
Committee: Lee Gugerty, Fred Switzer, and Joel Greenstein
Monday, March 24, 2014 at 12:30pm Brackett 214

The goal of this research was to examine general education eportfolio components that may help improve student learning outcomes. A general education eportfolio is essentially a website created by a student, who selects, links, and reflects upon artifacts they have created in order to demonstrate their competency in the various domains of higher education, e.g. social science, mathematics, and natural science. This dissertation research combined and extended previous research by Klein et al. (2011) into two studies. The first study employed a factorial design manipulating the type of reflective activity required for an eportfolio and the type of eportfolio support provided. The second study manipulated the number of artifacts used during reflection. The main outcome variables were student competency, metacognitive accuracy, and subjective experiences. Support, reflective activity, and an additional artifact were each expected to improve the outcome measures. Support and activity were also expected to produce a synergistic interactive effect. Reflective activity only had a marginal impact on competency, whereas eportfolio support was found to cause significant improvements in all of the outcome measures. There was a trend for a stronger effect of mentoring in eportfolios with rationale activities for social science competency. The second experiment did not detect any differences in outcomes resulting from using two artifacts compared to using one. This research informs educators of best practices in eportfolio program design at the general education level for improving learning outcomes in college students.

Keywords: eportfolio, learning, metacognition, reflection, support, general education

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Wiedemann: “Employee Engagement Simplified by Self-Determination Theory”

“Employee Engagement Simplified by Self-Determination Theory”

Thesis Proposal, Crystal Wiedemann

Committee: Dr. Fred Switzer (chair), Dr. Robert Sinclair, Dr. Patrick Raymark

Tuesday, Feb 25th at 2:00 pm, Brackett Rm. 121

Due to increasing economic pressures over the last decade, organizations have been forced to “do more with less.” In an effort to maintain performance, and in some cases gain strategic advantage, more and more companies are looking to derive all they can from their employees. A fully “engaged” workforce has steadily moved from a dream to a necessity in today’s fiercely competitive marketplace. Unfortunately, actually creating an engaged workforce has proven to be a difficult endeavor. Organizations that have been able to figure out the mystery of employee engagement tout increased employee loyalty, happier customers, and bigger profits (Harter, Schmidt, & Keyes, 2002). Despite the demand for scientific research on employee engagement from the business community, a large amount of ambiguity still surrounds the conceptualization of the construct in academic research. This paper will investigate Self-Determination Theory (Deci & Ryan, 1985) as a theoretical framework in which to root employee engagement as proposed by Meyer & Gagne (2008). We will examine whether satisfying the needs for competence, autonomy, and relatedness through the work environment will result in increased autonomous work motivation, employee engagement, and well-being. If employee engagement turns out to be as directly related to Self-Determination Theory as hypothesized, it could simplify the course of action required to increase engagement in organizations.

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Brawley: Unifying specific climate research with a molar climate measure: A Situational Affordances approach

“Unifying specific climate research with a molar climate measure: A Situational Affordances approach”

Thesis defense, Alice M. Brawley

Committee: Dr. Cynthia L. S. Pury (chair), Dr. D. DeWayne Moore, & Dr. Fred S. Switzer, III

Thursday, February 27th at 8:30 AM in Brackett 419

Abstract: Organizational climate – briefly, the shared perceptions of a workplace – was originally studied as a molar concept, but this approach generally lacked focus and thus resulted in unmanageable measures. Organizational climate research has been subdivided into many areas of specific climate research focusing on particular organizational factors or outcomes, such as safety or customer service (Schneider, Ehrhart, & Macey, 2013). While the study of specific climates has been and remains worthwhile, recent literature in the area has called for a return to the molar or global conceptualization of organizational climate (Kuenzi & Schminke, 2009; Schneider et al., 2013). In an answer this call, the present study develops and validates a self-report measure of molar organizational climate, the Situational Affordances at Work Scale (SAWS). This measure is based on a taxonomy of Situational Affordances (Pury et al., 2014) that conceptualizes the broad influences on behavior in a given situation as affordances, allowing or preventing particular behaviors. These seven Affordances – Change (Dynamic and Static), Ownership (Self and Other), Valence (Approach and Avoid), Timing (Wait and Act), Target (Object and Person), Privacy (Keep and Share), and Consideration (Self and Other) – are proposed as a holistic view of high-level situational characteristics that influence behavior.
In Study 1, undergraduate students with work experience (N = 217) responded to an initial version of SAWS. Results of this study were used to develop a preliminary version of SAWS. In Study 2, residents of the United States (N = 465) responded to the preliminary version of SAWS and to measures of safety climate, service climate, job characteristics, and social desirability. Results of this study show that the relationship between safety climate and service climate in a cross-section of jobs and industries is strongly positive, r = .652. Therefore, the two climates, in terms of molar climate dimensions, are largely similar. Both safety and service climates are positively related to molar climate Affordances for Change, Self-Ownership, Positive Valence, Acting, Focusing on both Persons and Objects, Sharing information, and Considering both one’s Self and Others. Both climates are negatively related to molar climate Affordances for not Changing, Other-Ownership, Negative Valence, Waiting, and Keeping information private. A few of these relationships with molar climate differ in magnitude across the two specific climates: service climate is more strongly positively related to Affordances for Self-Ownership and Positive Valence and more strongly negatively related to Affordances for not Changing, Other-Ownership, and Negative Valence than is safety climate. These results suggest molar climate dimensions where safety climate and service climate may differ in a cross-section of workplaces, but overall indicate that these two specific climates are more similar that previously hypothesized in the literature (cf. Paul, 2012). Results of this study also show statistical discrimination between SAWS and job characteristics, indicating that SAWS measures a construct distinct from job characteristics. Results of these studies support SAWS as potentially useful tool in understanding the broad portrait of an organization’s climate.

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Brock Bass Thesis defense 12/16

Faces as Ambient Displays: Assessing the Attention-Demanding Characteristics of Facial Expressions

Thesis Defense

Dr. Richard Pak (Advisor), Dr. Leo Gugerty, Dr. Christopher Pagano

Ambient displays are used to provide information to users in a non-distracting manner. The purpose of this research was to examine the efficacy of facial expressions as a method of conveying information to users in an unobtrusive way. Facial expression recognition requires very little if any conscious attention from the user, which makes it an excellent candidate for the ambient presentation of information. Specifically, the current study quantified the amount of attention required to decode and recognize various facial expressions. The current study assessed the attention-demanding characteristics of facial expressions using the dual-task experiment paradigm. Results from the experiment suggest that Chernoff facial expressions are decoded with the most accuracy when happy facial expressions are used. There was also an age-effect on decoding accuracy; indicating younger adults had higher facial expression decoding performance compared to older adults. The observed decoding advantages for happy facial expressions and younger adults in the single-task were maintained in the dual-task. The dual-task paradigm revealed that the decoding of Chernoff facial expressions required more attention (i.e., longer response times and more face misses) than hypothesized, and did not evoke attention-free decoding. Chernoff facial expressions do not appear to be good ambient displays due to their attention-demanding nature.

1 pm, Monday December 16th, 419 Brackett

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Drew Link Live at HFDG – 11/22/13

This week at HFDG

Who: Drew Link
Where: Brackett 419, this Friday at 2.30p
What: Dissertation plan and discussion

From Lee’s lab, Drew will be talking about research leading up to his current proposal
for a dissertation topic. The general research is on adaptive decision making in healthcare from a patient perspective. He is interested in studying variables that deal with how patients gather information regarding health topics online and how conditions (either of the individual or environment) may affect their ability or willingness to adapt their strategies. Drew will be presenting several potential study designs and will discuss potential considerations for the study.

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