The human factors area of psychology developed at 30,000 feet: World War II pilots, under stress, too often pressed the wrong button, ejecting before they meant to.
Military scientists reconfigured the cockpits, placing related controls in clusters and shape-coding others. By adding circular or triangle-shaped knobs to control toggles, they helped pilots identify the controls by touch. That led to fewer mistakes, which meant fewer pilots dangling from parachutes.
Penn State Behrend has begun construction of a $112,000 “Innovation Commons,” a collaborative lab where students, faculty members and industry partners can develop product ideas, create prototypes and consult with lawyers, bankers, marketing experts and others who can support entrepreneurial projects.
Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, is funding nearly $58,000 in undergraduate research this summer. Forty-nine students will participate in the studies, working directly with faculty mentors.
Psychology students will continue a pilot program with the Cleveland Clinic, working with college athletes and a Wii gaming console to measure the long-term effects on memory and balance as athletes recover from concussions.