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The Field Guide to Understanding Human Error, 2nd Edition by Sidney Dekker

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4 Put Data in Context

You can avoid the hindsight bias by putting yourself in the shoes of the people whose behavior you are trying to understand.

  • How did the world look to them at the time?
  • How did the situation unfold around them; what cues did they get when?
  • What goals were they likely pursuing at that time (not knowing the outcome you now know about)?

Remember, you want to understand why it made sense for these people to do what they did. That means that you need to put the data that you have on what they did, back into their context. You need to put people’s behavior back into the situation that produced and accompanied that behavior.

But this is not easy. In fact, it is always tempting to go for a context that actually lies outside

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