High Velocity Human Factors (HVHF)


High Velocity Human Factors (HVHF) is an area within the study of Human Factors that specialises in the human factor in mission critical domains (MCD). Such domains can include military operations or emergency services such as police, ambulance or fire-fighter operations. HVHF was first proposed by Motorola’s Principal Scientist, Moin Rahman, basing it upon research that he had conducted on human performance in mission critical domains such as that of police operations.

Normal human factors is the study of humans when their environment is considered to be in a state of equilibrium (balanced physically and emotionally). High Velocity Human Factors studies humans when the environment that are operating in is in a nonequilibrium state (unbalanced).

When a human is faced with a time-pressured situation that is considered to be abnormal, dangerous or complicated, human performance is affected. The study of HVHF aims to understand how the human reacts and performs in such situations in order to assist with the improvement of tools for the user and training development for those entering such environments.

How does HVHF analyse Human Performance?

HVHF analyses human performance through three measures:

  1. Decision Making; how the human's decision making process is affected in stressful environments.
  2. Velocity differential; the delay of processing information by the human and what their environment requires.
  3. Psychophysiological reactions; how the body reacts, such as increased heart rate.

Application in Aviation

The research conducted by Rahman has been used to assist in the design of technology and their interfaces for humans in mission critical domains. In aviation, Rahman’s research and the study of High Velocity Human Factors could be used in the training and development of military aviation technology such as cockpit displays. It could also be used for standard pilots as when they enter difficulty, their operation does become mission critical as how they perform becomes a matter of life and death. Thus the need for understanding of HVHF is actually widespread in aviation; not just in military aviation.

1. Rahman, M. (2007). High Velocity Human Factors: Human Factors of Mission Critical Domains in nonequilibrium. In Proceedings of the Human factors and Ergonomics 51st Annual Meeting (pp.273-277). Santa Monica CA: Human Factors and Ergonomics Society
2. Rahman, M. (2008). High Velocity Human Factors: Factoring the human being into future police technology. Retrieved September 27, 2010, from http://www.policeone.com/police-products/vehicle-equipment/articles/1646301/
3. Wikipedia. (2010). High velocity human factors. Retrieved September 27, 2010, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_velocity_human_factors

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