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From cognitive reliability to competence? An evolving approach to human factors and safety

Abstract : When reviewing the research path of an author, we are inevitably influenced by our own background and approach. Tracing back the converging and diverging assumptions of the authors with respect to Erik Hollnagel's research path, the paper focuses on the evolution of cognitive psychology as resulting from an original distinction between two models of human cognition: the first one more in line with the behaviourist tradition and the latter with the cybernetic and ecological approach. The former, which becomes dominant in the development of cognitive psychology, marginalizes some aspects that prove crucial in the latter. The concepts of anticipation and of intentional behaviour, together with the notion of variability of normal performance, are traditionally part of the cybernetic and ecological approach to cognitive psychology. These concepts have also been central in the development of the ergonomic analysis of work activities. Throughout the Resilience Engineering perspective, the two models of human cognition are brought closer, while the concept of competence is sketched as a possible mediator to a "positive" approach to Human Factors and Safety
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https://hal-mines-paristech.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00614429
Contributor : Magalie Prudon <>
Submitted on : Thursday, August 11, 2011 - 11:31:40 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, September 24, 2020 - 5:20:27 PM

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Alessandra Re, Luigi Macchi. From cognitive reliability to competence? An evolving approach to human factors and safety. Cognition Technology and Work, 2010, 12 (2), pp.79-85. ⟨10.1007/s10111-010-0148-1⟩. ⟨hal-00614429⟩

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