Get 20M+ Full-Text Papers For Less Than $1.50/day. Start a 14-Day Trial for You or Your Team.

Learn More →

The Aviation Psychologist

The Aviation Psychologist PERSONNEL The Aviation sign of aircraft. The prone position was investi­ gated thoroughly by the Germans from the phy­ siological standpoint when, before the recent Psychologist war, they assessed the maximum momentary and sustained accelerations a pilot could withstand without 'black-out' (see 'Physiology and the His Place in Aeronautics to Aid in the Design of Pilot', AIRCRAFT ENGINEERING, Vol. XII, June Equipment as well as in Selecting Personnel 1940, pp. 164-170). The position has been adopted in modern high-speed research aircraft, and Investigating Accidents such as the Northrop 'flying-wings' and in new British projects. Work has been carried out on designing suitable controls but so far little re­ By J. A. C. Williams, A.M.I.Mech.E., A.F.R.Ae.S. search has been made in visual perception with the body in the prone position. An object viewed from an unusual position tends to appear smaller in size—a fact ably demonstrated by E. ERONAUTICAL psychology has been gineering Division, at Wright Field, which was Schurs in Germany in his work on the 'moon haphazardly applied in the past, but the formed about 18 months ago. He reports on the effect'—and the prone position might give a mis­ increased complexity of modern aircraft desirability of making a closer study of cockpit leading and possibly dangerous impression of demands a scientific approach to the problems. layouts and gives ten instances of studies made distance to the pilot. The 'moon effect' is the on equipment using psychological methods. An Psychiatrists are mainly concerned with curing everyday experience of the moon appearing investigation was, for instance, carried out to abnormal conditions of patients and are mostly larger when low down on the horizon than when drawn from the medical profession, but the psy­ determine a set of differently shaped control it is overhead. This was originally attributed to chologist has to apply his specialized knowledge knobs which could be recognized by touch alone atmospheric refraction but Schur carried out to the normal person who is living and working —it was found that in an emergency this is an experiments in a disused Zeppelin hangar sus­ under a given set of conditions whether it be important point. Forty pilots were tested wear­ pending various sized circles above, below and piloting an aircraft or riveting the skin of the ing blacked-out goggles and, in some cases, in front of the subjects, finally showing that the Brabazon I. Indeed, the person inserting rivets flying-type gloves. Twenty-two knobs were perceptual size of an object was affected by the may have been 'studied' by a time and motion tested of which eight were found never to be position from which it was viewed and therefore confused amongst themselves (shown in FIG. 1) engineer who is in fact applying a part of the accounting for the moon appearing larger on the and these are therefore suitable for use when it technique of the psychologist. Wherever the horizon. human being has to operate mechanical equip­ is required definitely to recognize a control by ment there is scope for the psychologist to con­ touch. This reflects the importance now attached The psychologist has to study the most com­ tribute towards increased efficiency. to the human factor and a special section of the plicated 'machine' in the world whose reactions A.S.M.E. has been formed to continue basic re­ vary from minute to minute. It is because of this search. Much of the work has been summarized variability that the experimental psychologist A Government View in the book Human Factors in Air Transport employs a statistical approach to most of the During the two World Wars, the small num­ Design by Ross A. McFarland (McGraw Hill, problems. All that it is generally possible to say bers of hard-worked psychologists have been 1946), reviewed in AIRCRAFT ENGINEERING, Vol. is that under given environmental conditions a called upon to investigate problems for all three XIX, September 1947, p. 298. subject will most probably act in a certain man­ Fighting Services. In the White Paper, The Work ner. It is worth remembering that in noise mea­ The Government report indicates that we in of Psychologists and Psychiatrists in the Services surement (vide N. Fleming, September, 1946, England do not seem to have recognized the (1947), instances are given of the range of work J.R.Ae.S.) the thresholds of feeling and audi­ human problems in aircraft so much as the undertaken; for example, Section V, Conclu­ bility are the mean results obtained by psycho­ Americans. B.O.A.C. have recently announced sions and Recommendations, states that 'Psy­ logists from work on many subjects. The 'phon the appointment of certain medical practitioners chologists have been mainly employed in (i) de­ to investigate passenger comfort problems, but vs. decibel and frequency' curve is subjectively veloping systems of personnel selection designed it is not clear whether they will study design determined. The aircraft designer must be con­ to allocate members of the Services to appro­ cerned with the practical results of acoustics problems such as those instanced above. priate employment both as officers and other and incorporate a design embodying the lessons ranks; (ii) improving methods of training and learnt. Experience of the Air Transport Auxiliary assessing efficiency; (iii) assisting in the design of weapons and equipment; (iv) investigating psy­ Two papers of interest have appeared in the Conclusions chological aspects of operational problems; (v) Journal of the Royal Aeronautical Society. It is, perhaps clear therefore, that a knowledge developing statistical methods of treating data Philip Wills, C.B.E. (now of B.E.A.), reported on of psychology is necessary in aeronautics when derived from work on personnel problems' and accident investigation in the A.T.A. and his investigating accidents, as well as in operational 'Psychologists should have the opportunity of findings are of interest. Among other facts, he airline research, in designing new equipment, being represented on the principal scientific and found that the accident rate increased signifi­ training and selecting personnel and in produc­ advisory committees and on other bodies con­ cantly during the period lasting for one hour tion. In accident investigation the evidence of nected with personnel' and 'Psychologists should after lunch and, as a result, attention of flying witnesses must be assessed, the possible human participate as observers in operations or battle personnel was called to this. The other paper is cause found and a remedy applied. In opera­ exercises'. by Frank Holliday (then of Vickers-Armstrongs tional airline research, the standard of comfort Ltd.), on 'Apprentice Selection'. He introduced It is seen from these extracts that the Privy of passengers must be raised and aircrew work­ psychological tests into the examination of pros­ Council Committee who drew up the White ing efficiency improved. In the design of new pective apprentices and after prolonged analy­ Paper considered the psychologists' contribution equipment, human limitations under fatigue and sis he was confident of selecting the best candi­ important. It is unfortunate that, so far, the work emergency conditions, must be appreciated. In dates. Holliday's approach to the problem is covered by the Report has not been published production the right man must be given the right illustrative of sound psychological work: he but the following paper titles are given. (1) task and his efficiency maintained on the job. seems to have no preconceptions: he tried to 'Analysis of the judgment of relative position', In these fields, the application of psychological correlate his test selection figures with actual (2) 'Instrument lighting in aircraft and vehicles', methods will contribute much to the increased results after two years' training and with judg­ (3) 'Legibility of different coloured instrument efficiency of British services. ments (often unsolicited) of the shop foremen markings and illuminated signs at low illumina­ under whom the apprentices served: he did not tions', (4) 'Factors affecting visibility from gun assume that his tests supplied the whole answer turrets of aircraft'. These titles indicate that to 'How suitable is this boy?' His contribution some of the work is of immediate interest to de­ is important in the post-war period as it aims to signers. avoid spending time and money training human material which might eventually prove unsuit­ American Experiments able, and also eases the task of the instructors, Possibly of greater use to readers (because it allowing a higher standard of work to be is immediately available) may be the work by attained. Paul M. Fitts, 'Psychology and Aircraft Design' published in Mechanical Engineering, February, The Approach to New Problems 1947 (a journal of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers). Fitts belongs to the Psy­ The prone flying position is an example of chology Branch, Aero Medical Laboratory, En­ how psychological study can influence the de­ September 1948 http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology Emerald Publishing

The Aviation Psychologist

Loading next page...
 
/lp/emerald-publishing/the-aviation-psychologist-DCS0B0UOgx

References

References for this paper are not available at this time. We will be adding them shortly, thank you for your patience.

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
0002-2667
DOI
10.1108/eb031667
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PERSONNEL The Aviation sign of aircraft. The prone position was investi­ gated thoroughly by the Germans from the phy­ siological standpoint when, before the recent Psychologist war, they assessed the maximum momentary and sustained accelerations a pilot could withstand without 'black-out' (see 'Physiology and the His Place in Aeronautics to Aid in the Design of Pilot', AIRCRAFT ENGINEERING, Vol. XII, June Equipment as well as in Selecting Personnel 1940, pp. 164-170). The position has been adopted in modern high-speed research aircraft, and Investigating Accidents such as the Northrop 'flying-wings' and in new British projects. Work has been carried out on designing suitable controls but so far little re­ By J. A. C. Williams, A.M.I.Mech.E., A.F.R.Ae.S. search has been made in visual perception with the body in the prone position. An object viewed from an unusual position tends to appear smaller in size—a fact ably demonstrated by E. ERONAUTICAL psychology has been gineering Division, at Wright Field, which was Schurs in Germany in his work on the 'moon haphazardly applied in the past, but the formed about 18 months ago. He reports on the effect'—and the prone position might give a mis­ increased complexity of modern aircraft desirability of making a closer study of cockpit leading and possibly dangerous impression of demands a scientific approach to the problems. layouts and gives ten instances of studies made distance to the pilot. The 'moon effect' is the on equipment using psychological methods. An Psychiatrists are mainly concerned with curing everyday experience of the moon appearing investigation was, for instance, carried out to abnormal conditions of patients and are mostly larger when low down on the horizon than when drawn from the medical profession, but the psy­ determine a set of differently shaped control it is overhead. This was originally attributed to chologist has to apply his specialized knowledge knobs which could be recognized by touch alone atmospheric refraction but Schur carried out to the normal person who is living and working —it was found that in an emergency this is an experiments in a disused Zeppelin hangar sus­ under a given set of conditions whether it be important point. Forty pilots were tested wear­ pending various sized circles above, below and piloting an aircraft or riveting the skin of the ing blacked-out goggles and, in some cases, in front of the subjects, finally showing that the Brabazon I. Indeed, the person inserting rivets flying-type gloves. Twenty-two knobs were perceptual size of an object was affected by the may have been 'studied' by a time and motion tested of which eight were found never to be position from which it was viewed and therefore confused amongst themselves (shown in FIG. 1) engineer who is in fact applying a part of the accounting for the moon appearing larger on the and these are therefore suitable for use when it technique of the psychologist. Wherever the horizon. human being has to operate mechanical equip­ is required definitely to recognize a control by ment there is scope for the psychologist to con­ touch. This reflects the importance now attached The psychologist has to study the most com­ tribute towards increased efficiency. to the human factor and a special section of the plicated 'machine' in the world whose reactions A.S.M.E. has been formed to continue basic re­ vary from minute to minute. It is because of this search. Much of the work has been summarized variability that the experimental psychologist A Government View in the book Human Factors in Air Transport employs a statistical approach to most of the During the two World Wars, the small num­ Design by Ross A. McFarland (McGraw Hill, problems. All that it is generally possible to say bers of hard-worked psychologists have been 1946), reviewed in AIRCRAFT ENGINEERING, Vol. is that under given environmental conditions a called upon to investigate problems for all three XIX, September 1947, p. 298. subject will most probably act in a certain man­ Fighting Services. In the White Paper, The Work ner. It is worth remembering that in noise mea­ The Government report indicates that we in of Psychologists and Psychiatrists in the Services surement (vide N. Fleming, September, 1946, England do not seem to have recognized the (1947), instances are given of the range of work J.R.Ae.S.) the thresholds of feeling and audi­ human problems in aircraft so much as the undertaken; for example, Section V, Conclu­ bility are the mean results obtained by psycho­ Americans. B.O.A.C. have recently announced sions and Recommendations, states that 'Psy­ logists from work on many subjects. The 'phon the appointment of certain medical practitioners chologists have been mainly employed in (i) de­ to investigate passenger comfort problems, but vs. decibel and frequency' curve is subjectively veloping systems of personnel selection designed it is not clear whether they will study design determined. The aircraft designer must be con­ to allocate members of the Services to appro­ cerned with the practical results of acoustics problems such as those instanced above. priate employment both as officers and other and incorporate a design embodying the lessons ranks; (ii) improving methods of training and learnt. Experience of the Air Transport Auxiliary assessing efficiency; (iii) assisting in the design of weapons and equipment; (iv) investigating psy­ Two papers of interest have appeared in the Conclusions chological aspects of operational problems; (v) Journal of the Royal Aeronautical Society. It is, perhaps clear therefore, that a knowledge developing statistical methods of treating data Philip Wills, C.B.E. (now of B.E.A.), reported on of psychology is necessary in aeronautics when derived from work on personnel problems' and accident investigation in the A.T.A. and his investigating accidents, as well as in operational 'Psychologists should have the opportunity of findings are of interest. Among other facts, he airline research, in designing new equipment, being represented on the principal scientific and found that the accident rate increased signifi­ training and selecting personnel and in produc­ advisory committees and on other bodies con­ cantly during the period lasting for one hour tion. In accident investigation the evidence of nected with personnel' and 'Psychologists should after lunch and, as a result, attention of flying witnesses must be assessed, the possible human participate as observers in operations or battle personnel was called to this. The other paper is cause found and a remedy applied. In opera­ exercises'. by Frank Holliday (then of Vickers-Armstrongs tional airline research, the standard of comfort Ltd.), on 'Apprentice Selection'. He introduced It is seen from these extracts that the Privy of passengers must be raised and aircrew work­ psychological tests into the examination of pros­ Council Committee who drew up the White ing efficiency improved. In the design of new pective apprentices and after prolonged analy­ Paper considered the psychologists' contribution equipment, human limitations under fatigue and sis he was confident of selecting the best candi­ important. It is unfortunate that, so far, the work emergency conditions, must be appreciated. In dates. Holliday's approach to the problem is covered by the Report has not been published production the right man must be given the right illustrative of sound psychological work: he but the following paper titles are given. (1) task and his efficiency maintained on the job. seems to have no preconceptions: he tried to 'Analysis of the judgment of relative position', In these fields, the application of psychological correlate his test selection figures with actual (2) 'Instrument lighting in aircraft and vehicles', methods will contribute much to the increased results after two years' training and with judg­ (3) 'Legibility of different coloured instrument efficiency of British services. ments (often unsolicited) of the shop foremen markings and illuminated signs at low illumina­ under whom the apprentices served: he did not tions', (4) 'Factors affecting visibility from gun assume that his tests supplied the whole answer turrets of aircraft'. These titles indicate that to 'How suitable is this boy?' His contribution some of the work is of immediate interest to de­ is important in the post-war period as it aims to signers. avoid spending time and money training human material which might eventually prove unsuit­ American Experiments able, and also eases the task of the instructors, Possibly of greater use to readers (because it allowing a higher standard of work to be is immediately available) may be the work by attained. Paul M. Fitts, 'Psychology and Aircraft Design' published in Mechanical Engineering, February, The Approach to New Problems 1947 (a journal of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers). Fitts belongs to the Psy­ The prone flying position is an example of chology Branch, Aero Medical Laboratory, En­ how psychological study can influence the de­ September 1948

Journal

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace TechnologyEmerald Publishing

Published: Sep 1, 1948

There are no references for this article.