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Designing Operator Tasks to Minimize the Impact of Heuristics and Biases

by Dave Grattan, P.E., CFSE

This paper proposes a combined approach of discussing the cognitive psychology behind System 1 and System 2 thinking, the types of heuristics we use, the biases that result, and operator task and interface design that can minimize the likelihood of systematic bias. The paper will incorporate the learnings from 5 years of safety critical Task Analysis performed for field and control room tasks. A practical operator response to abnormal situation model will be described that will link the heuristics used and potential biases that may occur, as well as design features to minimize the likelihood of those occurring. 

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