The ecological approach to human-machine systems involves the application of principles from ecological psychology to human-machine interaction. Human factors is a system-based discipline, which seeks to understand, explain, and design the fit between humans and machines. Human-machine systems are a subset of animal-environment systems, and so can be understood within the general framework of the ecological approach. This works at two levels. First, the ecological approach provides a theoretical perspective from which to describe and explain perception and action within human-machine systems. Second, the ecological approach provides a theoretical basis for the design of human-machine systems that will promote adaptive performance.
For more information:
Flach, J. M., Hancock, P., Caird, J., & Vicente, K. J., (1995). Global perspectives on the ecology of human-machine systems. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
Hancock, P., Flach, J. M., Caird, J., & Vicente, K. J. (1995). Local applications in the ecology of human-machine systems. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.