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Unravelling future thinking: a valuable concept for prospective ergonomics

Abstract : Future thinking (FT) is the cognitive ability that enables humans to mentally imagine and pre-experience future events. Despite a sharp increase in basic research on future thinking in the last decade, we note the lack of transfer to Human Factors and Ergonomics (HF&E), although the field is increasingly concerned by future artefacts and although theory building on future-oriented HF&E has begun (e.g. prospective ergonomics). This article gives an overview of key findings regarding future thinking, namely i) underlying cognitive mechanisms, ii) functions and obstacles, iii) common descriptors of future thinking, iv) recommendations as to the possible improvement of future thinking during user research and, v) methods for the assessment of future thinking abilities. This synthesis can support HF&E practitioners in fine-tuning their future-oriented methods.
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Contributor : Clément Colin <>
Submitted on : Monday, July 5, 2021 - 9:43:49 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, August 25, 2021 - 12:12:03 PM


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Clément Colin, Antoine Martin, Flavie Bonneviot, Eric Brangier. Unravelling future thinking: a valuable concept for prospective ergonomics. Theoretical Issues in Ergonomics Science, Taylor & Francis, 2021, pp.1-27. ⟨10.1080/1463922X.2021.1943045⟩. ⟨hal-03278668⟩



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