The International Journal of Comparative Psychology is sponsored by the International Society for Comparative Psychology. It is a peer-reviewed open-access digital journal that publishes studies on the evolution and development of behavior in all animal species. It accepts research articles and reviews, letters and audiovisual submissions.
Volume 5, Issue 4, 1992
Humanfactors, a rapidly growing discipline since World War II, isusually defined as the study of human-machine interactions.
The Cat (Felis catus) as an Example of the Contribution that Comparative Psychology Has Made to Human Factors
Humanfactors is an area of psychology, which systematically pplies in formation about human behavior to designing environments for human use. The contribution that comparative psychology has made to human factors is demonstrated in this article using the example of the cat, which shows many of the neurophysiological and overt behaviors observed in humans. The article begins with a summary of exemplary basic research which illustrates similarities between the cat and humankind. The summary is followed by a discussion of various applications of these data to improve the human condition.
First,squirrel monkey and human data were complementary in lidating the hypothesized difficulty of oddity and sameness-difference concept hierarchies. Second,both were used to refute the hypothesis that numerousness discriminations (e.g., 7 versus 8 items) require counting and to support the hypothesis that such judgments involve a prototype matching process.
The papershis issue have presented a wealth of information from a variety of studies about factors that influence behavior. A key question has been and remains, "To what degree can one generalize from studies of nonhuman animal behavior to humans?"
Thereare two general strategies that may be employed for "doing human factors research with nonhuman animals." First, one may use the methods of traditional human factors investigations to examine the nonhuman animal-to-machine interface. Alternatively, one might use performance by nonhuman animals as a surrogate for or model of performance by a human operator. Each of these approaches is illustrated with data in the present review. Chronic ambient noise was found to have a significant but inconsequential effect on computer-task performance by rhesus monkeys (Macaco mulatta). Additional data supported the generality of findings such as these to humans, showing that rhesus monkeys are appropriate models human psychomotor performance. It is argued that ultimately the interface between comparative psychology and technology will depend on the coordinated use of both strategies of investigation.