Le Travail Humain

Published by Presses Universitaires de France
Print ISSN: 0041-1868
As the "last line of defence" pilots in commercial aviation often have to counteract effects of unexpected system flaws that could endanger the safety of a given flight. In order to timely detect and mitigate consequences of latent or active failures, effective team behaviour of the crew members is an indispensable condition. While this fact is generally agreed in the aviation community, there seems to be a wide range of concepts how crews should interact most effectively. Within the framework of the European project JARTEL the cultural robustness of evaluations of crew behaviour was examined. 105 instructor pilots from 14 different airlines representing 12 European countries participated in this project. The instructors' evaluations of crew behaviours in eight video scenarios will be compared in relation to cultural differences on Hofstede's dimensions of Power Distance and Individualism.
A study of 138 female textile workers showed that absenteeism was related to (1) individual factors, such as S's family situation, whether the S had children, and the distance from home to factory, and (2) professional factors, such as S's working position and the relationship between the S and supervisors. Absenteeism was not much affected by number of children, salary, and work experience. (English abstract) (13 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Collected data on the work–rest schedule of 139 truck drivers. Two relative exposure indexes were derived: the amplitude of the workday and the time of day when the work was performed. Other data included the time of day an accident occurred and the number of hours of work preceding the accident. It was found that (1) the probability of a driver being involved in an accident was 2.5 times greater after 14 hrs of work than after less than 10 hrs; and (2) the accident probability doubled at night. (English abstract) (5 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
The prevention of accidents at work inside an industrial branch or company supposes at least 2 preliminary approaches: the 1st consists of an accident analysis and the 2nd of the organization and use of the collected data. The present study proposes a method to a rational approach to the 2nd step. The determination of the work situation that classically precedes the accident can often be described and analyzed from the deterioration of the task itself and from the successive mishaps leading to deviation behaviors and alternative tasks. After outlining a typology for the determination of these mishaps, the author points out that their sequence is not hazardous. The accidents in an industrial unit are characterized by a structure matrix. This matrix can then be used as a base for a prevention strategy in the considered unit. (9 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Examined the relationship between skills and techniques while emphasizing the modifications effected by the cognitive character of the skills themselves. Methods of training, the characteristics of techniques as determinants of skills, and the information that the techniques and skills provide about each other are explored. The role of cognitive activities in the process of acquiring a technique, the relationship between internal and external representations and the technique, and the generation of techniques and the problem of what is really learned are discussed. Future research should include such topics as the different means of acquiring techniques and the effect of the technique's "character" on acquisition. (15 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Presents a taxonomy for analysis of cognitive work in modern, dynamic work places, which consists of the following elements: work domain, task space, activity analysis in domain terms, decision analysis in information terms, information processing strategies, allocation of decision roles, management structure and social organization, and mental resources, competency, and preferences of the individual actor. The framework has been developed from field studies in different work domains such as process control, advanced manufacturing, and hospitals and is intended to facilitate transfer of results between different work domains and the use of results from psychological experiments (e.g., studies of particular cognitive tasks) for design and evaluation of information systems. Illustrations of the taxonomy are presented as a multifaceted framework for specification of boundary conditions for selective studies and for subsequent generalization into the workplace. (French abstract) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Studied the processes involved in the perception of 3-dimensional objects, based on geometric information in drawings. 27 unskilled adults (migrants) and 21 engineering students were compared. The results confirm the hypothesized distinction between "drawing items" and "volume items." In most cases unskilled Ss proceeded with drawing-to-drawing comparisons, whereas skilled Ss proceeded with volume-to-volume comparisons. (English abstract) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Explores issues in aiding human performance through an analysis of a natural problem-solving habitat: the control of water level in a boiler during the startup of a power plant. Two mutually reinforcing analyses were conducted to understand the existing system for feedwater/level control as a problem-solving system. One analysis focused on mapping the cognitive demands imposed by the task world itself or building a competence model. The other focused on developing a performance model, a description of what operators actually do, successfully and erroneously, to cope with the demands of the world. The analyses enabled identification of options to produce a better match between the cognitive demands of the task and the available resources. (French abstract) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Contends that European ergonomics (mainly French and Belgian) is indebted to J.-M. Faverge for his contributions to work analysis. American engineering psychology and human factors are more centered on laboratory experiments than on field analysis. American organizational psychology often limits its approach to opinions and attitudes. It is suggested that ergonomics work analysis in the future cross the border of the work place without changing its basic principles. (English abstract) (10 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
98 shift workers' daily reports about the quality of their sleep and degree of fatigue were subjected to MANOVAs. The 4 days following the night shift period (i.e., 7 nights) evidenced considerably more complaints in comparison to the days following the morning or the evening shift. Data were compared with the findings of J. Foret and O. Benoit (1978) in their study of night sleep following a period of day sleep. It is concluded that a recovery period of 2–3 days after a 7-night shift is too short. (English abstract) (20 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Advanced graphical visualizations, such as virtual reality and animation, are at the forefront of technological development. Despite claims that much can be gained from interacting with animation, researchers do not consistently demonstrate cognitive benefits. In this paper, the authors review research on the effects in computer animation in several domains, including education, human–computer interaction and psychology. No clear cut evidence emerges either to support or to invalidate the utility of animation at the workplace. Instead, animation seems to be effective when dynamic information is to be conveyed and when the animation conveys that information clearly and simply. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Analyzed the utility and limitations of computer aided design (CAD) technology for architects engaged in designing buildings. Architects' sketches simulate their hypotheses concerning volumes and are a means of processing information concerning geometric aspects of volume. Analysis of this activity shows that it takes place in a spatial decision process, the evolution of which partially reflects that of the construction of space by children. The introduction of CAD technology upsets this process. The complexity of its manipulation and the rigidity of its problem-solving procedures constrain drawing search. CAD excludes shape and volume simulation in the absence of dimensional information, as is possible with pencil and paper. On the contrary, it implies an a priori dimensional approach to volume. This leads architects to restrict their use of CAD to production of finite executive design. At the present time, CAD cannot serve as a tool for conception—invention of volumes. (English abstract) (7 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Personnel managers (36 executives) from a large oil company) were asked to judge candidates applying for a manager position. They were provided with 2 types of information regarding the candidate: (1) an evaluation of the person's previous job performance by a supervisor (high or medium performance); and (2) the candidate's answers to an internality questionnaire (internal or external). The dependent variable was the score (0-9) attributed by Ss to the target person concerning their suitability for a supervisory position. Ss also estimated the effect of different information on their judgement (score ranging from 0-5). Results show that candidates high in performance and internality were evaluated more positively than candidates low in performance and internality. In addition, candidates who were medium in performance but internal in their answers were evaluated more positively than those who were high in performance but external in their answers. These results confirm the construct of the norm of internality and support the existence of a process of social selection of internal people and, more generally of the economic value of internal explanations. Ss also exhibited insightful use of the internal–external criterion in relation to performance when judging job candidates. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Investigated possible relationships between the amplitude (A) of the circadian rhythm of oral temperature and (a) speed of adjustment during shift work and (b) tolerance to shift work. In Study 1 with 25 oil refinery operators, a negative correlation was found between the mean A and the acrophase shift (ΔΟ) resulting from the 1st night shift: the larger the A, the smaller the ΔΟ. Study 2 involved 23 steel industry workers and 25 chemical industry workers with either a good or poor tolerance to shift work. Tolerance was evaluated according to digestive troubles, persistant fatigue, and sleep alterations. Circadian A of oral temperature was larger in Ss who tolerated shift work than in intolerant Ss. Study 3 involved 29 oil refinery operators, and it was found that good tolerance to shift work, over many years, was associated with a large circadian amplitude and slow adjustment during night shifts (small ΔΟ). (English abstract) (20 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
This paper will discuss key issues in this research and some of its results. What is cooperative work? How is it articulated? What are the requirements of computer systems supposed to `support' cooperative work? Before we plunge into these questions, however, let us delve briefly on why the very program --- computer support for cooperative work --- may have emerged and generated such enthusiastic attention. Why CSCW? Why CSCW? Cooperative work has developed historically. For example, agricultural work and craft work of pre-industrial society was only sporadically cooperative. Due to the low level of division of labor at the point of production, the bulk of human labor was exerted individually or within very loosely coupled arrangements. There were, of course, notable exceptions to this picture such as harvest and large building projects (e.g., pyramids, irrigation systems, roads, cathedrals), but these examples should not be mistaken for the overall picture
Discusses the training and transfer of faultfinding (troubleshooting). A taxonomy of faultfinding strategies and their definition is offered under the following headings: strategies using structural information, based on values and relationships between system variables, using functional information, using probabilistic information, and using temporal information. A case study in a steel mill outlines errors and problems and a goal-oriented model. Discussed as emerging issues are the importance of structural strategies in narrowing down the location of a fault; how a theoretical understanding of system functioning may support faultfinding; and the nature of transfer situations in terms of their requirement for the application or adaptation of existing faultfinding strategies or the development of new ones. (French abstract) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
: The role of contextual information in intelligent assistant systems is controversial. In this paper, we start from our experience of Intelligent Assistant System developers to clarify some notions about context and to study the question of context sharing. Moreover, we consider two important aspects of man-machine cooperation, namely explanation generation and incremental knowledge acquisition. Making context explicit in cooperative systems is the key factor for any implementation of these two concepts. Starting from our experience in the development of knowledge-based systems, especially of an interactive system for incident management in subway control, we explain our views about context for the development of intelligent assistant systems. Keywords: Intelligent assistant systems, cooperation, context, explanation, incremental knowledge acquisition. I INTRODUCTION Many authors have already raised the issue of context use within interactive systems (Bainbridge, 1997; Cahour & Ka...
Used Zipf's law, which expresses the balance between efficacy and thrift, to investigate the work habits of maintenance machinery men in a forge. Frequencies of tools' uses allowed Zipf's law to be determined. (English abstract) (21 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Excellent and mediocre truck drivers were tested on a variety of reaction tests. In order of differentiation, tests lined up as follows; (1) direct light, (2) inverse lights, (3) 2-point choice of correct symbol, (4) double labyrinth test, and (5) an aiming test. Simple visual and auditory reaction times did not produce useful results. English summary. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Reports and analyzes claims made by 5 professional electronics designers about the notation of electronics and the computer-based design support systems they use, concentrating on cognitive issues of graphical representation. Seven themes emerged: overviews, zooming, neighborhood, shifts from graphics to text, viscosity, search trails, and vocabulary and space consumption. The study offers 2 important insights: the need to escape from formalism, and the omnipresent use of secondary notation as an adjunct to official notation. The interview agenda is appended. (French abstract) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Correlates of two dimensions of driver stress vulnerability.
-Cueing effects for a secondary attenrional task as a function of perceived control, stress condition and cue-target interval (from Matthews & Crighton, unpublished). Significant effect (i.e. interaction with cueing): perceived control X cue validity interaction (F(l, 35) = 10.0, p < .01). Effets des indices pour une tâche attentùmnelle secondaire en fonction du contrôle perçu, du stress et de l'intervalle indice-cible (d'après Matthews & Crighton, non publié). Effet significatif: interaction entre le contrôle perçu et la validité de l'indice (F[l, 35] = 10,0; p < . 01).  
Presents a conceptual model of driver stress that distinguishes between emotional distress, aggression and frustration, and fatigue. Three general mechanisms through which stress and the use of in-car systems may interact to affect performance, generally detrimentally, are (1) overload of attentional capacity, (2) disruption of executive control of selective attention, and (3) disruption of adaptive mobilization of effort. These mechanisms are illustrated with data from recent driving simulator studies of stress and dual-task performance. Stress was investigated both through experimental manipulation and through measurement of individual differences in stress vulnerability. S characteristics that accentuate detrimental effects of stress include older age, inexperience, and poor attentional skills. Suggestions for designing in-car systems to minimize stress are offered. (French abstract) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Argues that problems created by technology and mass consumption could foster a consensus of opinion regarding aims for the protection and preservation of nature and society. An analysis of road safety showed that even in the field of prevention, the consensus cannot hide the reality of psychological, economical, and social conflicts. Rules and "constraints" appear as fundamental methods for the regulation of a society's security. (English abstract) (15 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Argues that the modeling of cognition should attempt to reproduce key phenomena rather than replicate the mechanism of a specific theory. Most cognitive models refer to procedural prototypes, but an alternative is to focus in contextual control. A model is proposed that explicitly describes the way in which actions are chosen to meet the requirements of a situation. Control is described in terms of different control modes, which match different performance characteristics. (French abstract) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Examines the "rise of the collective" in work and defines the notion of collective activity as the activity of a group of people interacting for the execution of a task. The value of a distinction between task and activity for the study of collective activity is discussed. A schema is presented to illustrate the conditions and consequences of the activity and the regulation loops related to the evaluation of these consequences. Critical characteristics are presented for task, work group, coupling task/group, and collective activity. Different perspectives are discussed from which collective activity can be approached and some types of analysis models are cited. The need to take task complexity into account to avoid overly reducing the tasks to simple models and giving the actors a range of autonomy that enables them to adjust their cooperation and action to the frequently numerous and poorly foreseeable conditions with which they must cope is emphasized. (French abstract) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Reviews literature on the human factors aspects of human–computer dialogs, aspects of work analysis, and the hardware or environmental problems. The following software problems are discussed: (1) the readability of displays, particularly with regard to the information structure; (2) the response time of the computer; and (3) the command languages. It is concluded that there are relatively few psychological studies compared to the large number of existing problems: The ergonomics of human–computer dialogs is still in an "adolescent" stage. (English abstract) (4 p ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Asked 16 Ss to identify the trajectories corresponding to 2 types of modification of spatial relations that were presented in 2 ways (the space was structured or unstructured, and an interval was or was not introduced between successive images). Discrimination among trajectories was found to involve numerous cognitive processes. Based on the findings, proposals are presented for improving harbor maneuvering. (English abstract) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Two teams of 5 high ranking fire safety officers were observed in a simulated emergency situation at the end of 2 wks of training in the use of a method for tactical reasoning. The collective aspect of work was important because (1) a very large amount of qualitative and quantitative information had to be processed and (2) the rate of evaluation of the situation was faster than the rate of processing by any given individual. A cross-analysis paradigm was used to analyze operative communications collected during the simulation and a criterion of efficiency was defined for comparative data analysis. The more efficient team was better in task distribution and coordination. Results indicate that individual competences are not sufficient to guarantee efficient collective work. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Discusses the cognitive issues of coordination involved in emergency operations and illustrates these by considering the emergency operation during the Clapham railway accident. The tabletop exercise used for training emergency teams and the general usefulness of such exercises are examined. Implications for the development of training practices and technologies for emergency agencies and other organizations where organization is critical are considered. (French abstract) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Applies a theoretical framework of collective activity to an analysis of teamwork among electricians. The tasks to be performed are defined in terms of the model. An analysis of the execution of collective actions yielded forms of interindividual coordination (simultaneous and synchronized) implied in the actions and a characterization of the automatic nature of executive operations in these actions. (English abstract) (4 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Examined stress and coping styles of 3-shift workers (30 male and 30 female paper workers in regular shifts and 30 nursing professionals working in irregular shifts). The group of nurses in irregular shifts experienced more stress than the paper workers. All the groups used active physical and passive relaxive styles to recover from stress. Nurses used more active cognitive styles compared to the other groups. Both of the female groups used more passive somatizing ways to cope. Results indicate that efforts are needed especially in hospitals to develop new shift systems in which more attention is paid to the health of the worker and to better possibilities of coping with stress. (French abstract) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Visual critical fusion frequency (CFF) has been used largely as an objective fatigue measurement. The literature reveals several discrepancies in results and interpretations of CFF variations. Physiological and psychophysiological processes involved in CFF show that they depend on CNS activation mechanisms and can explain Ss' temporal resolution fluctuations. In subjective fatigue, as reported by factor analytic studies, "sensation of bodily tiredness and drowsiness" are the main symptoms of fatigue that can be correlated with CFF decrements. It is concluded that CFF appears to be a useful tool for fatigue measurement if fatigue is understood as a low and reversible level of Ss' interaction with his/her environment. (4½ p ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Analyzed the spatial perception cues operating within a 2-dimensional technical drawing. It is proposed that the direct visual depth cues operating within a 2-dimensional representation of a 3-dimensional object combine to form the syntax of visual language. Those cues that must be capitalized upon in any attempt to improve the spatial perception of line drawings and the comprehension of engineering drawings are identified. Several recently developed techniques designed to aid perception and comprehension of these illustrations, including stereoscopic illustrations and iconic modelling and interrupted contour technique, are discussed. (French abstract) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
35 general practitioners were asked to indicate their probability of prescribing (1) lipid-lowering agents for raised blood cholesterol, (2) prophylactic treatment for migraine sufferers, and (3) hormone replacement therapy. The approach used was that of social judgment theory applied in a medical context. In each domain, Ss were shown 130 hypothetical cases on a computer screen as a list of features each related to a particular dimension or cue. A multiple linear regression of judgments on to cue values yielded Ss' tacit policy. Structured interviews after judgments in each domain produced a measure of explicit policy. There were major discrepancies between Ss in their tacit policies. Ss used fewer cues in their tacit policies than were identified in their explicit policies, suggesting a lack of insight. Policies were less reliable and consistent with the lipid task than with the migraine task on a number of measures. (French abstract) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Studied the influence of mental images or ideas about an object formed while reading a drawing of the object. It was found that an accurate identification of the motions of different parts or pieces of an object was linked to specific types of previous representations. Mental images may also have an influence on the general understanding of shapes and interrelations of the constituents of an object. (20 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Discusses the potential of vision enhancement systems in cars to reduce accidents in adverse lighting and weather conditions. A review of the literature shows that the transfer of technology from the military and aerospace environments to the generic requirements of the driving population is beset with both technological and human factors problems. These factors include the fact that the military refers to a fairly homogeneous population, while the general driving population represents a wide range of age and abilities. Also, the use of peripheral vision may be more important in driving than in flying. Cost has to be considered with automotive systems since a system must be inexpensive to be commercially viable. Technological solutions involving various ways to illuminate the road, the use of heads-up displays, and optics are discussed. (French abstract) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
In process control, the efficiency of the human operator depends on the ability to act at the right moment, that is to say to quickly change from a state of passive observation to one of active involvement in the process. We have observed that the human operator is not stable: he presents, over time, large variations in the amount of information he perceives, and he uses different working procedures which would indicate that his mental representation of the system changes with the different shifts. From this study some questions arise, dealing with the reliability of a Man-Machine System.
Top-cited authors
Marc-Eric Bobillier Chaumon
  • Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers
Jean-Marie Burkhardt
  • Université Gustave Eiffel
Beatrice Cahour
  • CNRS National Centre for Scientific Research - i3 - Télécom parisTech
Barbara Tversky
  • Stanford University
Mireille Bétrancourt
  • University of Geneva