Evaluating the Performance of Systems that Involve Human Behavior and Control

Test and evaluation protocols (methods or procedures) that include human participants as a component of human–machine–computer systems are being developed and implemented in industry and academia. Human-specific testing procedures are applicable when human behavior is involved in those systems. A wide variety of factors that affect human variability must be controlled or accounted for, that if ignored, could result in an evaluator hearing, “You did WHAT?” 

This document was initially directed toward guiding those who develop and use international standards that establish industry consensus for definitions, guidelines, practices, test methods, etc. It has been expanded to include any investigation of the performance of human–machine systems where the human is operating equipment, either by physical contact with controls and sensors or by remote control, or via software networks. The topics are applicable to manufacturer-specific tests and evaluations, and studies done in commercial or academic laboratories. 

The broad field of human factors includes personnel who may not be sufficiently familiar with the considerations that are necessary when humans are part of the test conditions. Many of those considerations are introduced and discussed in this guide.

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