Hancock. P.A. (2012). The context of performance: Unified principles and diverse applications. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 34, S4
“Man is the measure of all things” and as I am sure Protagoras would have concluded, women also. However, the heart this phrase emphasizes the human-centered nature of our collective history and experience. What I look to achieve in my presentation is an exploration of how these central principles of behavior, that we have collectively distilled and assembled, can be applied to human goals, aspirations, and performance writ large. I do this through and exploration of various areas of application. To accomplish this, I will feature my own autobiographical progress, which has sprung from my grounding in motor learning and control and then developed into an examination of human interaction with motor learning and control and then developed into an examination of human interaction with technical systems. In showing the indissoluble link between the foundational science of motor control and technological mediation of human factors and ergonomics, I hope to inform and inspire others into a consideration of the greater aspirations for science in human existence. In terms of specifics, I shall discuss the work in my laboratory has produced over a number of decades on driving, flight, and other human-augmenting technologies, with a special focus on performance under stress and high workload conditions. I shall communicate how these various interests were inspired by and contingent on the discussions and disputes that were, and still are, central to an understanding of the human motor system and how it achieves its necessary goals across the process of learning, maturation, skill development and the skilled exhibition of expertise. To conclude my tour, I shall look to dispense, discuss, and dispute, the proposition that science and morality (proximal understanding and ultimate meaning) can be dissociated and look to show my foregoing principles and their ubiquitous application means that science in general bears a heave, if unacknowledged burden in the sadness of our times. If you are with me to the end, I shall look to reward, via liberation and libation.
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