Skip to content

Control Theory for Humans

by Rich Jagacinski & John Flach

Review in Theoretical Issues in Ergonomic Science by Esa Rantanen

The two attributes that best describe the book are clarity and comprehensiveness. It is quite evident that the authors have succeeded in reaching their self-expressed goal for this work, that is, making the control theory accessible to a broad audience. Their chosen perspective of manual control serves very well in conveying the fundamental concepts and principles of control theory in a clear manner. While many human factors professionals and students may lament the fact that this book has not been available years ago, it is certainly most welcome at present.

Review in Ergonomics and Design by Louis Tijerina

This book provides a lucid, in-depth, behaviorally oriented introduction to the mathematics of linear systems and control theory. Control-theoretic concepts and techniques are illustrated through behavioral science applications in perception, learning, decision-making, and motor performance.  Throughout, one finds insightful commentary on applications of control theory to systems design and cognitive science research.  If the value of a book comes from learning something new and fueling the imagination, this book should be considered required reading.

Personal Communication from Richard Larkin

A few things I like about it:  The transparency of the derivations. The several ways to think about Fitts law.  The comparisons with neural nets and with decision-making. The very helpful diagrams. The intuitive approach. The nice way you handle optimal control and state variables. ... I am no longer teaching, but I would have loved to use this book for a seminar.

Personal Communication from Jerome Busemeyer

I purchased a copy of your book, and I just wanted to let you know that I think its an excellent book. It covers a broad range and it's rigorous yet readable.

Personal Communication from Duane McRuer to Rich Jagacinski

An unexpected Christmas present -- Duane McRuer called this afternoon and indicated that he was very pleased with our book. I had interpreted his silence until now as a sign of displeasure - but happily I was wrong. He thinks the SOP model needs to be more widely used to guide research on movement control. He suggested we send copies to some of the faculty at MIT ...

Author Page on Amazon