Understanding and Preparing for Human Bias in the Assessment of Risks Public

Successful EHS practitioners and managers should be cognizant of the effects that human biases play in their own decision making process, as well as the decisions and recommendations of their employees, co-workers, and managers. Developments in behavioral economics and experimental psychology provide insights into how and when individuals may be biased and under-predict or over-predict the risk of an uncertain future event. By developing the understanding of when one’s own intuition may falsely indicate safety when a situation is dangerous or danger when a situation is safe, EHS personnel can better employ their skills to mitigate risks and communicate about those risks in their organizations. This chapter describes the type and nature of common biases in decision making, their implications for EHS personnel, and methods for countering or mitigating them.

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