June 2009 Human-Factors Taxonomy preface

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  1. Berry, G.L. Task taxonomies and modeling for system performance prediction. Proceedings of the Human Factors Society 24th Annual Meeting. 425-429; 1980.

  2. Berson, B.T. and Crooks, W.H. Guide for obtaining and analyzing human performance data in a material development project. Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD: Army Human Engineering Laboratory; September 1976.

  3. Christman, N.J. A human factors taxonomy. Fort Leavenworth, KS: Army Command and General Staff College; 1977.

  4. Companion, M. A. and Corso, G. M. Task taxonomy: two ignored issues. Proceedings of the Human Factors Society 21st Annual Meeting. 358-361; 1977.

  5. Edmonds, E. Towards a taxonomy of user interface adaptation. Colloquium on Adaptive Man-Machine Interfaces; 1986.

  6. Fleishman, E.A. Toward a taxonomy of human performance. American Psychologist. 1127-1149; 1975.

  7. Joint Chiefs of Staff Publication 1-02. Washington, DC; The Joint Staff.

  8. Joint Chiefs of Staff Publication 3-0. Doctrine for joint operations. Washington, DC: The Joint Staff; January 1990.

  9. Lees, M.A., Kimbal, K.F., and Hoffman, M.A. Aviator performance during day and night terrain flight (USAARL 77-3). Fort Rucker, AL: Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory; November 1976.

  10. Lysaght, R.J., Hill, S.G., Dick, A.O., Plamondon, B.D., Linton, P.M., Wierwille, W.W., Saklad, A.L., Bittner, A.C., and Wherry, R.J. Operator workload: comprehensive review and evaluation of operator workload methodologies (Technical Report 851). Alexandria, VA: Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences; June 1989.

  1. MIL-STD-46855

  2. Nieva, V. F., Fleishman, E. A., and Rieck, A. Team dimensions: their identity, their measurement and their relationships (Research Note 85-12). Alexandria, VA: Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences; January 1985.

  3. Samaras, G.M. Toward a mathematical formalism of performance, task difficulty, and activation. In J.R. Comstock Mental state estimation, NASA Conference Publication 2504, NASA Scientific and Technical Information Division; 1988.

  4. Taylor, J.R., Munson, K., and Taylor, M.J.H. Jane’s All the world’s aircraft. Surrey, United Kingdom: Jane’s Information Group Limited; 1989.

  5. TRADOC Pamphlet 11-9. Army programs blueprint of the battlefield. Fort Monroe, VA; 9 June 1989.

  6. USAF. Disruption in combat; 1970.


Artificial environment The characteristics of the environment affected by humans.

Asymptotic learning The point at which performance does not improve with increased practice.

Complexity The number and amount of interdependencies among system.

Consensus Substantial agreement has been reached by directly and materially affected interests.

Continuous performance Performance, such as tracking or monitoring that requires constant attention over a period of time.

Defensive posture State of readiness to defend the system.

Dimensions Units of measurement, e.g., deviation from glideslope in meters.

Discrete performance Performance that has a well-defined start and end, such as switch activation or issuance of a voice command.

Discriminability Corresponds to separation of the noise and noise-plus-signal distributions.

Duty A set of operationally-related tasks within a given job, e.g., driving, weapon servicing, communicating, target detection, self protection, and operator maintenance (MIL-STD-46855).

Element The smallest logically definable unit of behavior required for completing a task or step, e.g., verify that rpm is between 4500 and 6000 (Berson and Crooks, 1976).

Function A major category of activity associated with a system or subsystem and assigned to a person or a machine or shared between a person and a machine (Berson and Crooks, 1976).

HPM Human performance measurement.

Human factors A body of scientific facts about human characteristics. The term covers all biomedical and psychosocial considerations; it includes, but is not limited to, principles and applications in the areas of human engineering, personnel selection, training, life support, job performance aids, and human performance evaluation (MIL-STD-46855).

Human performance A measure of human functions and actions in a specified environment (MIL-STD-46855).

Job The combination of all human performance required for operation and maintenance maintenance of one personnel position in a system, e.g., driver (MIL-STD-46855).

LED Light-emitting diode.

Mission What the system is supposed to accomplish, e.g., combat reconnaissance (MIL-STD-46855).

Mission segment A piece of the mission, e.g., takeoff, landing, and enroute.

MOPP Mission oriented protection procedure.

Natural environment Weather and terrain unaffected by humans.

OJT On-the-job training.

Operational environment The characteristics related to the condition of conflict.

Payoff matrix The value of a hit and a correct rejection; the cost of a miss and a false alarm.

PSF Performance-shaping factor.

Scenario/condition Categories of factors or constraints under which the system will be expected to operate and be maintained, e.g., day/night, all weather, all terrain operation (MIL-STD-46855).

Step The activities (perceptions, decisions, and responses) that fulfill a portion of the immediate purpose within a task. Alternatively called a subtask (Berson and Crooks, 1976).

Subfunction A breakout of a function. A subfunction may later be allocated to human performance, in which case it becomes a “task”. If hardware or software will perform it, it stays a subfunction.

Subtask Activities (perceptions, decisions, and responses) which fulfill a portion of the immediate purpose within a task, e.g., remove lug nuts (MIL-STD-46855).

Support Provision of required items.

Task Composite of related activities (perceptions, decisions, and responses) performed for an immediate purpose, e.g., takeoff from an airfield (Berson and Crooks, 1976).

Task element The smallest logically and reasonably definable unit of behavior required in completing a task or subtask, e.g., apply counterclockwise torque to the lug nuts with a lug wrench (MIL-STD-46855).

Workload The relative capacity to respond (Lysaght, Hill, Dick, Plamondon, Linton, Wierwille, Zaklad, Bittner, and Wherry, 1989, p. 27).

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