Variability in human motor and sport performance

Michael G Wade, Thomas J. Smith

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


In typical human factors/ergonomics (HF/E) contexts, the human operator functions as the “redundant subsystem” in the person-machine interface. Most systems rely on an engineered operating system with the human operator in a monitoring role, ready to engage control of the system as appropriate. Engineered design seeks to reduce variability and maintain a high level of precision; such is the case for aircraft and ocean-going transportation. What is referred to as unanticipated variability (Vincente & Rasmussen, 1992) represents situations that are unfamiliar to the operator and not anticipated by design engineers who created the system. Turvey et al. (1978) refer to this as context-conditioned variability, whereby a different set of actions produce the same task goal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationVariability in Human Performance
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781466579729
ISBN (Print)9781466579712
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014
Externally publishedYes


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