Z94.9 Human Factors (Ergonomics) Engineering

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BACKLASH. Tendency for control system response to be reversed when a control movement is stopped.

BACKWARD CHAINING. An automated or human reasoning strategy in which a sequence of actions are sought to transform a problem from a goal state to an initial or given state.

BANDPASS. Transmission of a limited signal frequency range.

BANDWIDTH. Range of frequencies to which a system is sensitive.

BANG-BANG CONTROL. Discrete system control rule in which only maximum positive and negative control inputs are used.

BAR GRAPH. Display format in which a quantity is represented by the length of a bar.

BASE RATE. A population mean frequency; specifically, the prior odds in a Bayesian evidential reasoning task.

BASE RATE INSENSITIVITY. Human tendency to place less than objectively correct weights on base rate information in evidential reasoning. Highly influenced by contextual factors.

BEATS. Periodic variations in sound resulting from hearing two equally intense simple tones of slightly different frequencies. As the difference between the frequencies is increased, a train of subjective experiences is produced, beginning with waxing and waning and progressing to throbbing (beats), then changing to rattling or roughness. That stage lasts until the two frequencies are separated enough that the subjective interaction disappears and two distinct tones are heard.

BEGINNING SPURT. A transient burst of activity at the beginning of the work period.

BETA. Probability of Type II error; i.e., the probability of incorrectly accepting the null hypothesis.

BETA TESTING. Second phase of software evaluation involving limited product release.

BINOCULAR PARALLAX. The lack of correspondence between the images which fall on each retina due to the interpupillary distance between the two eyes; a cue to depth. (See PARALLAX.)

BIOMECHANICS. Application of mechanical principles and methods of analysis to the structure and movements of the body and body parts. Frequently-studied aspects include the range, strength, endurance, and speed of movements and responses to such physical forces as acceleration and vibration. (See Z94.2 ANTHROPOMETRY & BIOMECHANICS.)

BIONICS. A study of living systems or organisms with the intention of deriving technological knowledge applicable to the design and performance of artificial systems.

BIT. An information processing unit. (See Z94.3 COMPUTER AND INFORMATION SYSTEMS.)

BLIND-POSITIONING REACTIONS. Movements that require the localization of objects in space without the aid of visual cues.

BRIGHTNESS. The amount of light emitted by, or reflected from, a surface in a specified direction. Measured as light intensity per unit projected area. Also referred to as luminance.

BRIGHTNESS CONTRAST.  The relationship between the brightness of an object, Bo, and the brightness of the object’s background, Bb.  It is expressed as the ratio of the difference to the backgound.

BRIGHTNESS CONTROL. Potentiometer for adjusting display luminance.


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