Psyc 779A: Seminar in Cyberpsychology and Human Performance Theory

Course Description:

This seminar covers the broad field of human-computer interaction from a psychological perspective, hence the title "Cyberpsychology." We will survey a number of models and theories of interaction and appropriate methods for both research and usability testing. The psychophysical characteristics of many input and output devices will be covered. The cognitive aspects of interface design for menu selection, navigation, and search will be explored as well as the aspects of learning and memory at the human-computer interface. Social aspects of computer medicated communication and social networks and a number of practical aspects of design such as accessibility will be covered. The course will include 2-3 field trips to usability and HCI labs on campus and in the local area.


Norman. K. L. (in press). Cyberpsychology: Introduction to the human-computer interaction (2nd Ed). Cambridge University Press.

Norman, K. L., & Kirakowski, J. (in press). Handbook of Human-Computer Interaction. Wiley, Oxford University Press.


Students will present and discuss 2-3 readings from draft chapters of the Wiley Handbook of Human-Computer Interaction in class the number depending on class size. Students will be expected to have read the articles prior to class meeting and enter into the discussion.


Several assignments will be given to evaluate different user interfaces, propose modifications, and perform usability tests using different tools.

Class Projects:

Students will design study on some aspect of human-computer interaction, write a short introduction to the problem and review any previous research, design an empirical study to look at the effect, perform a pilot test on several volunteers, and write up and present the results in class.

Course Grade::

The course grade will be based on a combination of class presentations and discussion, assignments, and the final project.


Psyc 779: Seminar in Human Performance Theory:Human/Computer Interaction

Plan for Course and Overview of Cyberpsychology
Reading 1
Biographical Description

History of Computers and Interfaces

Human vs. Machine: Comparison of Architectures
Reading 2
Review of Chapter 1

Field trip to the Laboratory for Automation Psychology

Theoretical Perspectives: Models and Metaphors
Reading 3
Review of Chapter 2

Models and Metaphors

Research Methods/Usability Testing
Reading 4
Review of Chapter 3

Usability Software

Interface Evaluation
Sensory/Motor Interfaces
Reading 5
Review of Chapter 4

Field trip to UserWorks

Virtual and Augmented Reality
Reading 6
Review of Chapter 5

Review of Chapter 6
Learning, Memory, and Transfer

Review of Chapter 7
Thinking and Problem Solving
Reading 7
Review of Chapter 8
Reading 8
Review of Chapter 9
Reading 13
Review of Chapter 18
Individual Differences
Reading 9
Review of Chapter 10
Thanksgiving Break (NO CLASS)

Visit the VR Lab

Artificial Intelligence and Agents
Reading 11
Review of Chapter 14
The Future of Human/Computer Interaction

Review of Chapter 19

Project Presentations