Division Focus: Division 21

Ben B. Morgan, Jr., PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Central Florida, President of Division 21

How does one optimize the performance of humans in advanced technology systems? What problems are encountered as humans adjust to the use of new technologies? What behavioral issues are produced by interfaces with advanced technologies? What are the psychological and behavioral impacts of living and working in high-technology environments? These questions are as old as psychology; yet, they are as new as the most modern technologies. They are also at the very core of today's application of applied and experimental and engineering psychology. The overall objective of Division 21 is to focus the methods and content of psychology on the interface 'where psychology meets technology.' In today's world of rapidly changing technologies, this is an exciting, demanding, and critical endeavor. Division 21 is committed to the development of safer, more effective, and more reliable systems, work settings, and living environments.


Division 21 has three primary purposes: (a) to promote research, development, application, and the evaluation of psychological principles relating human behavior to the characteristics, design, and use of environments and systems within which human beings work and live; (b) to stimulate the exchange of information among its members; and (c) to develop close relations and facilitate the interchange of information with other societies, associations, and technical groups that have similar concerns.


Division 21 has experienced rapid growth recently, gaining about 100 new members last year. Total membership in the Division is now nearly 600 individuals. Membership may be in one of five categories: Fellows, Members, Associates, Affiliates, and Student Affiliates. Fellows are chosen for unusual and outstanding contributions to the field of applied experimental and engineering psychology. Members and Associates must hold the corresponding membership in APA and be involved in study, research, or work within the area of applied experimental or engineering psychology. Affiliate membership is open to nonmembers of APA, and Student Affiliate membership is open to students in psychology.


Members of the Division receive issues of PsycSCAN: Applied Experimental and Engineering Psychology, and an informative newsletter is issued several times each year. The Division also published a directory of members and, during 1994, it published a monograph that includes biographies of the major pioneers of applied experimental and engineering psychology.


The Division selects recipients of the Franklin W. Taylor Award for outstanding contributions to the field, the George E. Briggs Dissertation Award, the Earl A. Alluisi Award for Early Career Achievement, and the Psi Chi/APA Division 21 Undergraduate Student Award.

Special Events

Technical paper presentations, workshops, symposia, invited presentations, and a new-member's poster session are part of the Division's activities during the Annual APA Convention. In addition, the Division conducts a 1-day technical session in association with its midyear meeting.

For More Information

Division 21 welcomes inquiries from all interested persons. Individuals with a creative, exploring mind and an inclination toward science and quantitative techniques, who work well in team settings and have an abiding interest in psychology will find the Division attractive. For more information on joining Division 21, please contact: Phillip L. Ackerman, PhD, Chair, Membership Committee, Department of Psychology, University of Minnesota, 75 East River Road, Minneapolis, MN 55455; (612) 625-9812; E-mail: eqz6511@umnacvx.bitnet

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