The Origins of Human-tech

Alex Kirlik

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter reviews research on human-tech. This book's author began his research career in the discipline of human factors engineering in the mid 1980s. This was an era of increasing disillusionment, especially among those with design orientations, with the received view that dominated the prevailing culture of his field: that human factors was both largely and essentially a branch of experimental psychology, one known as engineering psychology. The author was influenced by Jens Rasmussen who observed a variety of mismatches between both the theoretical and methodological tools available in the human factors marketplace and the pressing needs of cognitive engineering researchers and practitioners. A second, perhaps less direct but nevertheless highly influential influence on the author were James J. Gibson's theories of direct perception and affordances. Strongly inspired by both Rasmussen and Gibson, in his PhD dissertation the author had seemingly found a way to leverage the resources of both these theorists, resulting in an interface design framework called ecological interface design (EID).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHuman-Tech
Subtitle of host publicationEthical and Scientific Foundations
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199863358
ISBN (Print)9780199765140
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Ecological interface design
  • Experimental psychology
  • Human factors
  • Human factors engineering
  • Jens rasmussen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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