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The remarkable ways we gain insights
Gary Klein Ph.D.
Procedures are supposed to help us act quickly in case of an emergency—but they can actually slow us down. Some lessons on the two-year anniversary of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.
Worried about making diagnostic errors? Maybe you need to harness the power of curiosity.
Confirmation bias is frequently cited as a reason why people make poor judgments. However, it rests on three claims that turn out to be very questionable.
Many organizations develop procedure manuals for carrying out tasks. These manuals can be helpful, but they rarely address the cognitive dimension of adaptive performance.
An Amtrak passenger train derailed traveling 106 mph in a 50 mph zone. We can learn how actual performance differs from what is imagined.
Perhaps—if it creates a delusion of ability. As our strengths diminish, we may mistakenly assume we can still achieve what we used to.
Improv chess uses the rules of chess, and the pieces of chess, but turns the game into an Alice-in-Wonderland scramble requiring a continual readiness to re-think and improvise.
To make experts appear dumb, block their ability to use tacit knowledge. Recent studies, however, provide evidence of how expertise can make an impact.
How can we get up to speed faster? We can read the manuals, but that just gets us started. Fortunately, there are some tactics that might take us the rest of the way.
A football quarterback throws an interception that has zero bearing on the game and gets blamed for making a "costly" mistake—showing the stupidity of our fear of errors.
Too many trainers are guided by mindsets that interfere with effective learning. Here are six of the worst offenders, and some tips for how to improve.
There are no fool-proof ways to identify experts. But there are some reasonable criteria. Each has its limitations, but each can be an important marker.
In contrast to big data, the small data approach tries to collect as little data as possible, ideally just a single data point—but a data point that swings a decision.
Designers may simplify cues and capabilities to make things easier. Unfortunately, making the job easier in normal operations can make it impossible under abnormal conditions.
In making a decision, should we consult our intuition before we do the analyses, or after, so we don't bias the analyses? 9 factors to consider.
How can we motivate people? We can provide incentives, or dangle a promotion, or threaten to fire them...but there's an easy, inexpensive, and effective approach.
When we think of areas of expertise, weather forecasting comes out high on the list. Forecasters get rapid and accurate feedback, and they have become masters at using AI tools.
The miners grumbled about having to waste their time on a 2-day safety training exercise. Their attitude changed after 30% of them "perished" in the virtual world scenario.
Many organizations put new hires through a rigorous training program and wash them out if they can't keep up. That's a mistake. The evaluation pressure gets in the way of learning.
Hyperlinks are critical for using our smartphones, using touchscreens, navigating the internet. Yet we take them for granted. How did they get invented?
Chess computers have an unfair advantage — they just have to analyze the board. What would happen if we required the computer to actually move the pieces?
The Dreyfus five-stage model of expertise claims that novices begin with tactical rules, but in many tasks that doesn't happen and in other tasks trainees get stuck in procedures.
Forget about man versus machine, the real challenge is man plus machine. Humans add value to advanced computer models and AI in fields such as chess and weather forecasting.
Countering the exaggerated claims of researchers in the fields of Decision Making, Heuristics and Biases, Evidence-Based Performance, Sociology, and Information Technology.
"Cognitizing" a scenario taps into behind-the-scenes mental activities such as reading a situation and picking up on subtle cues. It's about how to think, not just what to do.
Ten cognitive requirements designed to help instructors inject cognitive skills into their training programs.
The 1998 map of our cognitive sources of power still seems relevant. However, an updated version distinguishes the knowledge that we acquire from ways we can apply that knowledge.
Much effort goes into national disaster plans. But actual incidents require improvisation and coordination between agencies that cannot be planned in advance.
Researchers are looking at heuristics the wrong way — as sources of bias and error. In fact, they are powerful strategies for making inferences under uncertainty and ambiguity.
Critics want to automate the tasks of experts. Three reasons to keep experts central in decision making: Frontier thinking, social engagement, and responsibility for their actions.
Gary Klein, Ph.D., is a senior scientist at MacroCognition LLC. His most recent book is Seeing What Others Don't: The remarkable ways we gain insights.