Human factors science has always been concerned with explaining and preventing human error and accidents. In the past 100 years, the field has shifted focus from a person approach to a system approach. In this opinion article, I provide five reasons why this shift is not opportune, and why person models are important for human factors science. I argue that (1) system models lack causal specificity; (2) as technology becomes more reliable, the proportion of accidents caused by human error increases; (3) technological development leads to new forms of human error; (4) scientific advances point to stable individual characteristics as predictors of human error and safety; and (5) in complex tasks, individual differences increase with task experience. Finally, some research recommendations are provided and ethical challenges of person models are brought forward.
|Journal||Theoretical Issues in Ergonomics Science|
|Publication status||Published - 2014|
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