Applied Psychology Research Institute (APRI)


The three doctoral programs in the Department of Psychology at Wichita State University share a common focus on applied research, in accord with the mission of Wichita State University as Kansas’ only urban-serving university campus.

The Applied Psychology Research Institute (APRI) was approved by the Kansas Board of Regents and opened in June 2013. APRI:

  1. serves as a regional center for research in program evaluation, human factors, and child development
  2. provides infrastructure, including laboratory and office space dedicated to these research activities
  3. fosters collaborative research across disciplines to address problems that require an interdisciplinary approach to understand and ameliorate
  4. provides additional training opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students
  5. markets the research capabilities of the institute.

Research Laboratories


Human Factors Aviation Lab

JPEG ImageThe Human Factors Aviation team provides scientific-based analyses to improve the systems that people use to do their jobs in the aerospace systems domain. Our team applies HF principles, guidelines, and user-centered design evaluation methods to optimize the interaction between people and the tools or systems they use.  This approach provides solutions that consider the human cognitive and physical abilities and limitations as well as the environment in which they work. A user-centric system increases operator acceptance, satisfaction, efficiency, situational awareness, and safety, while reducing errors, training time and workload.  Most of these benefits also result in cost savings.

Overview of Current Activities and Research
Sub-contract with General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc.
  • Provide HF expertise for advanced cockpit ergonomic and display design including HMI design support, usability testing, and design documentation.
  • Provide Ergonomic and Anthropometric Analysis of Prototype system to improve operator comfort and performance through digital modeling.
  • Provide design modifications to meet operational capabilities of new customers.
  • Develop a GUI design interface for control several remotely piloted vehicles (RVPs) by a single Collaborative Multi-vehicle Control (CMC) station.
  • Provide Style Guide design documentation utilizing GUI standards, supplemented with a HF design philosophy of principles to guide design decisions.
  • Provide Test Plan of HF approach to evaluation of processes, equipment, and component design. Followed by Test Reports analyzing test measures, user feedback, and providing results-based design recommendations.
Analysis and Evaluation
  • Ergonomic and anthropometric analysis for display placement and seat structure.
  • Ergonomic usability testing of design prototypes.
  • Task Analysis to develop user design requirements to provide framework for prototypes.
  • Proof-of-Concept during Usability testing.
  • Usability Testing assess user performance in part- and full-task simulated scenarios to evaluate and designs utilizing objective/subjective measures.
  • Design reviews of software to assess the consistency of design and the application of the Style Guide and Design Philosophy to final software versions.






APRI is located in Rm 102 McKinley Hall. For more information contact Dr. Alex Chaparro at Alex.Chaparro@wichita.edu or 316-978-3170.