Psychological biases affecting human cognitive performance in dynamic operational environments

Kenichi Takano, James Reason

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


In order to identify cognitive error mechanisms observed in the dynamic operational environment, the following materials were analyzed giving special attention to psychological biases, together with possible cognitive tasks and these location, and internal and external performance shaping factors: (a) 13 human factors analyses of US nuclear power plant accidents, (b) 14 cases of Japanese nuclear power plant incidents, and (c) 23 cases collected in simulator experiments. In the resulting analysis, the most frequently identified cognitive process associated with error productions was situation assessment, and following varieties were KB processes and response planning, all of that were the higher cognitive activities. Over 70% of human error cases, psychological bias was affecting to cognitive errors, especially those to higher cognitive activities. In addition, several error occurrence patterns, including relations between cognitive process, biases, and PSFs were identified by the multivariate analysis. According to the identified error patterns, functions that an operator support system have to equip were discussed and specified for design base considerations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1041-1051
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Nuclear Science and Technology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1999 Nov
Externally publishedYes


  • Cognitive process
  • Cognitive task
  • Human error
  • Multivariate analysis
  • Nuclear power plants
  • Performance shaping factor
  • Psychological bias

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering


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