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Human Error and Biases. Human Error - Definition. An inappropriate or undesirable human decision or behavior that reduces, or has the potential for reducing, effectiveness, safety, or system performance. An undesirable effect or potential effect on systems or people.

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human error definition
Human Error - Definition
  • An inappropriate or undesirable human decision or behavior that reduces, or has the potential for reducing, effectiveness, safety, or system performance.
  • An undesirable effect or potential effect on systems or people.
  • An error that is corrected before it can cause damage is an error nonetheless.
error classification discrete action
Error ClassificationDiscrete Action
  • Omission - Forgetting to do something, or just deliberately ignoring it.
  • Commission - Performing an act incorrectly.
  • Sequence - Right action, wrong order.
  • Timing / Rate -Too fast or too slow.
error classification information processing
Error ClassificationInformation Processing
  • Specific error categories at each stage of information processing.
    • 1. Observation of system state
    • 2. Choice of hypothesis
    • 3. Testing of hypothesis
    • 4. Choice of goal
    • 5. Choice of procedure
    • 6. Execution of procedure
error classification information processing continued
Error ClassificationInformation Processing - continued
  • The errors depend on the level of behavior.
    • 1. Skill-based behavior
    • 2. Rule-based behavior
    • 3. Knowledge-based behavior
error reduction selection
Error ReductionSelection
  • Selection of personnel with skills and capabilities (perceptual, intellectual, motor skills, etc.)
  • Limitations
    • 1. Not easy to determine skills required.
    • 2. Few reliable tests for measuring skill levels.
    • 3. Limited supply of qualified people.
error reduction training
Error ReductionTraining
  • Proper training of personnel reduces errors.
  • Limitations
  • Old habits are hard to break.
  • Training can be expensive.
error reduction design
Error ReductionDesign
  • Exclusion
    • Particular errors made impossible to commit
  • Prevention
    • Particular errors made difficult to commit
  • Fail-safe
    • Consequences of errors reduced in severity
human biases
Human Biases
  • People give an undue amount of weight to earlyevidence or information.
  • Humans are generally conservative and do notextract as much information from sources asthey optimally should.
  • The subjective odds in favor of one alternative orthe other are not assessed to be as extreme orgiven as much confidence as optimally they should.
human biases continued
Human Biases - continued
  • As more information is gathered, people becomemore confident in their decisions,but not necessarily more accurate.
  • Humans have a tendency to seek far moreinformation than they can absorb adequately.
  • People often treat all information as if it wereequally reliable.
human biases continued11
Human Biases - continued
  • People cannot entertain more than a few(three or four) hypotheses at a time.
  • People tend to focus on only a few criticalattributes at a time and consider only abouttwo to four possible choices that are rankedhighest of those few critical attributes.
  • People tend to seek information that confirmsthe chosen course of action and to avoidinformation or tests whose outcome coulddisconfirm the choice. (Confirmation Bias)
human biases continued12
Human Biases - continued
  • A potential loss is viewed as having greater valuethan a gain of the same amount. (Risk Aversion)
  • People believe that mildly positive outcomes are more likely than either mildly negative or highly positive outcomes.
  • People tend to believe that highly negative outcomes are less likely than mildly negative outcomes.