Standard Article

Engineering Psychology

  1. Francis T. Durso1,
  2. Patricia R. Delucia2,
  3. Keith S. Jones2

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0309

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Durso, F. T., Delucia, P. R. and Jones, K. S. 2010. Engineering Psychology. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–4.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Georgia Institute of Technology

  2. 2

    Texas Tech University

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Engineering psychology is a discipline that aims to improve socio-technical systems: driving cars, working on surgical teams, controlling nuclear power plants, improving consumer products, controlling air traffic, and the like. It does this by considering how human operators interact with technologies, with environments, and with other operators in particular contexts. Engineering psychology contributes to the understanding of human capabilities and limitations and directly or indirectly impacts the design of technologies that operators use. Cognates of engineering psychology include human factors, ergonomics, applied experimental psychology, and cognitive engineering. All have the common goal of improving socio-technical systems, but each does so with a different approach, for example, focusing on the cognitive versus the physical factors that affect the operator. However, differences among disciplines are often subtle, and professionals in separate disciplines often conduct very similar work. In addition to the goal of improving the particular system, inducing general principles from the study of particular systems characterizes the scientific nature of what many engineering psychologists do.


  • ergonomics;
  • applied experimental;
  • applied cognitive;
  • technology