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.
Bibliographical noteGreen Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository 'You share, we take care!' - Taverne project https://www.openaccess.nl/en/you-share-we-take-care
Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.