Webcast: Cognitive Bias and Incident Investigations

(How it Happens & How to Avoid It)

All humans are prone to unconscious biases. These biases are natural psychological processes which have evolved to help us cope with the inherent complexity of our world. Most of the time these mental shortcuts help us navigate our day-to-day experiences without overtaxing our mental capacities. However, when a detailed, accurate picture of a set of circumstances is needed, such as during an accident investigation, these biases can prevent us from seeing the whole picture and thwart our efforts at determining the true causal factors in an accident scenario. This Webcast will introduce the most commonly problematic cognitive biases for investigators and discuss ways to prevent them from hindering your investigations.

During this Webcast, we'll discuss:

  • How our brains make decisions
  • Heuristics & cognitive biases
  • Common cognitive biases during incident investigations
  • Tips for reducing the effect of biases during investigations
Webcast: Cognitive Bias and Incident Investigations

Watch Webcast

Recorded October 2020

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About the presenters

Jennifer Serne, Assistant Professor, Central Washington University, Safety & Health Management Program

Jennifer Serne is an Assistant Professor in the Safety Health Management program at Central Washington University. Before that, she worked for 20 years in the safety industry in research safety, pharmaceutical safety, radiation safety, and emergency response and was the lead inspector of medical and research facilities using radioactive materials in Washington State. She has also been an independent fatality investigator, serving various clients in 36 states and 6 countries. She has a Masters in Safety Science from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and is working towards her Ph.D. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology and Human Factors.

Jeff Dalto, Senior Learning & Customer Advocacy Manager, Vector Solutions| Convergence Training

Jeff Dalto is an instructional designer and workplace learning and performance improvement specialist with nearly 20 years of professional experience. He is currently pursuing at Master’s degree in Organizational Performance & Workplace Learning at Boise State University. Follow him on LinkedIn.