Automation bias

Complacency and bias in human use of automation: an attentional integration.
Hum Factors. 2010 Jun;52(3):381-410.
Parasuraman R, Manzey DH.

Our aim was to review empirical studies of complacency and bias in human interaction with automated and decision support systems and provide an integrated theoretical model for their explanation.

Automation-related complacency and automation bias have typically been considered separately and independently.

Studies on complacency and automation bias were analyzed with respect to the cognitive processes involved.

Automation complacency occurs under conditions of multiple-task load, when manual tasks compete with the automated task for the operator’s attention. Automation complacency is found in both naive and expert participants and cannot be overcome with simple practice. Automation bias results in making both omission and commission errors when decision aids are imperfect. Automation bias occurs in both naive and expert participants, cannot be prevented by training or instructions, and can affect decision making in individuals as well as in teams. While automation bias has been conceived of as a special case of decision bias, our analysis suggests that it also depends on attentional processes similar to those involved in automation-related complacency.

Complacency and automation bias represent different manifestations of overlapping automation-induced phenomena, with attention playing a central role. An integrated model of complacency and automation bias shows that they result from the dynamic interaction of personal, situational, and automation-related characteristics.

The integrated model and attentional synthesis provides a heuristic framework for further research on complacency and automation bias and design options for mitigating such effects in automated and decision support systems.

Creativity as a Life Skill

Creativity as a Life Skill
Gerard Puccio at TEDxGramercy
Dec 23, 2012

Gerard J. Puccio, Ph.D.

Gerard is chair and professor of the International Center for Studies in Creativity at Buffalo State, a unique academic department that offers the world’s only Master of Science degree in Creativity and Change Leadership.

In the face of a fast changing and increasingly more complex world, many argue that creativity and innovation are crucial 21st century skills. Unfortunately schools and organizations seem to be ill equipped to promote this critical skill. Discover what you can do to reclaim and sustain this life skill.

conformity bias

Everything looks like a nail

Abraham Kaplan (1964): “I call it the law of the instrument: Give a small boy a hammer, and he will find that everything he encounters needs pounding.”

Abraham Maslow’s hammer: “if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail” (The Psychology of Science, 1966)

narrow-minded instrumentalism, déformation professionnelle

an anti-pattern


[BOOK] What Doctors Feel

What Doctors Feel: How Emotions Affect the Practice of Medicine
February 22, 2014

Danielle Ofri argues in her newest book “What Doctors Feel: How Emotions Affect the Practice of Medicine,” that the idea that doctors don’t have feelings, or that they can ignore those feelings, negatively affects patient care.


“writer and doctor”


Childhood Disability: changing trends

What’s Behind The Stark Rise In Children’s Disabilities
August 19, 2014

A recent study finds that the rate of children diagnosed with a disability is rising — particularly among kids who come from a more affluent background. Dr. Amy Houtrow was one of the lead authors on the study, and she speaks with Audie Cornish.

Six million – that’s how many children are considered disabled in the U.S. today, a nearly 16 percent increase from a decade ago. And what accounts for that rise is explained in a new study out this week in the journal Pediatrics. The research shows that while physical disabilities are down, neurodevelopmental or mental health conditions are up, especially among children from more affluent families.

undetected bias. In what way and what’s your basis for that assessment?

HOUTROW: There’s quite a bit of literature that supports the idea that the way physicians and health care providers approach families differs in terms of what the family brings to the table and the encounter. So a family from a more affluent background is able to articulate their concerns and their needs in a different way. That might raise the suspicion of the doctor to look for the condition, to make a diagnosis and recommend treatment. On the flipside, a family who is less affluent might not bring to the attention of the provider in the same way, nor may the provider ask the questions that would lead them down the path of making a diagnosis of a developmental problem or mental health problem.

original paper:
Changing Trends of Childhood Disability, 2001–2011
Pediatrics. 2014 Aug 18. pii: peds.2014-0594.
Amy J. Houtrow, MD, PhD, MPH, et al.
CONCLUSIONS: Over the past decade, parent-reported childhood disability steadily increased. As childhood disability due to physical conditions declined, there was a large increase in disabilities due to neurodevelopmental or mental health problems. For the first time since the NHIS began tracking childhood disability in 1957, the rise in reported prevalence is disproportionately occurring among socially advantaged families. This unexpected finding highlights the need to better understand the social, medical, and environmental factors influencing parent reports of childhood disability.

Key Words: disability
activity limitations

Weighing brain activity with the balance

Weighing brain activity with the balance: a contemporary replication of Angelo Mosso’s historical experiment
David T. Field
… Angelo Mosso (1882), in which Mosso described his ‘human circulation balance

the balance allowed Mosso to observe changes in cerebral blood volume associated with mental effort and emotional responses, and consequently the balance is regarded as the direct forerunner of modern non-invasive functional neuroimaging techniques.


journalistic version:
The Machine That Tried To Scan The Brain — In 1882
August 17, 2014

Russ Poldrack, a psychologist at the University of Texas at Austin, says fMRI is an incredibly powerful tool. But he also points to its misuses — in particular, by a branding consultant writing in 2011.
“He had put people in a scanner and shown them iPhones, and claimed that he saw activity in an area of their brain that demonstrated that people were in love with their iPhones,” Poldrack says.
The trouble is, that part of the brain is also associated with pain, disgust and a host of other emotions.

The brain is not that simple. But Poldrack has a guess as to why brain technology has often made it seem like it is.
“We’re sort of fascinated by seeing thought, which seems so nonmaterial — seeing it as a material thing,” he says. “I think people often feel like if they see it on an imaging scan, it’s real in a way that it isn’t real if it’s just being talked about.”

In the end, he says, the balance and fMRI are both machines, built by humans, imbued with limitations.