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Title: Individual Differences in Human Reliability Analysis

While human reliability analysis (HRA) methods include uncertainty in quantification, the nominal model of human error in HRA typically assumes that operator performance does not vary significantly when they are given the same initiating event, indicators, procedures, and training, and that any differences in operator performance are simply aleatory (i.e., random). While this assumption generally holds true when performing routine actions, variability in operator response has been observed in multiple studies, especially in complex situations that go beyond training and procedures. As such, complexity can lead to differences in operator performance (e.g., operator understanding and decision-making). Furthermore, psychological research has shown that there are a number of known antecedents (i.e., attributable causes) that consistently contribute to observable and systematically measurable (i.e., not random) differences in behavior. This paper reviews examples of individual differences taken from operational experience and the psychological literature. The impact of these differences in human behavior and their implications for HRA are then discussed. We propose that individual differences should not be treated as aleatory, but rather as epistemic. Ultimately, by understanding the sources of individual differences, it is possible to remove some epistemic uncertainty from analyses.
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Conference: Probabilistic Safety Assessment & Management conference,Honolulu, HI, USA (Sheraton Waikiki),06/22/2014,06/27/2014
Research Org:
Idaho National Laboratory (INL)
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Country of Publication:
United States
99 GENERAL AND MISCELLANEOUS Crew Performance; Human Performance; Human Reliabliity Analysis; Individual Differences