pilot at the controls
Psychological characteristics of erroneous actions of the pilot

Psychological characteristics

erroneous actions of the pilot


The problem of pilot error is associated with one of the fundamental qualities of his as a man - freedom and thus responsibility for his actions. In terms of responsibility all the psychological views on the nature of the wrong actions are within the scope of this controversy - free or not free - and expressed, respectively, in the two positions, which can be called administrative characteristic primarily for members of the administration, management, and research, so that the characteristic first just for scientists.


Representatives of the administrative point of view believe that since a person has freedom, he is responsible for all violations in his free actions and for these violations he should be punished, i.e. All deviations in free behavior are transgressions. At the same time, as a rule, the person who made the mistake is incriminated with negligence, inattention, negligence, absent-mindedness and other such sins connected with the inadequate understanding of the person of his responsibility, that is, with inadequate manifestation of his freedom. Since mistakes are made due to the existence of freedom, the main direction of the struggle against them is the reduction of freedom of behavior.


This can be achieved in the following ways:

  • a) an increase in the number of instructions regulating activities, and their tightening. It is assumed that the narrower the “corridor” for the occurrence of deviations and the stronger its walls, the less errors will be;

  • b) a decrease in the share of a person in the management process, the desire to reduce his role to a minimum (simple observation, algorithmic pressing of buttons, etc.). It is believed that the less a person interferes in the management process, the fewer mistakes he will make. The limit to minimizing the role of a person is complete automation;

  • c) consolidation of correct actions, which boils down to constant study of the current instructions, training, passing tests, etc. It is assumed that the more firmly a person has mastered the correct behavior, the less spontaneous its implementation will be.


However, experience has shown that improper restriction of freedom itself is a source of violations of the array of instructions becomes too large, and even contradictory, alienated people from piloting at excessive automation too hard skills deprives meaningfulness of his work.


From a scientific point of view of all deviations occur in certain conditions and due to certain reasons, ie It occurs regardless of the freedom of the will and consciousness of man. In other words, the deviation is a manifestation of certain natural laws of nature, but because a person responsible for them can not be held.


Errors - not wine, but the misfortune of man.


There are eight kinds of psychological explanations for why there are deviations, and each type of explanation is based on a certain practical experience and offers a way to prevent errors.


  • 1. Under some conditions of activity, deviations occur more often than under others. This means that these conditions are especially conducive to the appearance of failures in the human psyche. A variety of factors can be unfavorable: physical, biological, mental, social, etc. For example, the time of day, the influence of the atmosphere. The way to deal with deviations in such a case is to neutralize the action of those factors that most contribute to the occurrence of deviations.

  • 2. A perfectly healthy person in perfectly normal conditions commits unjustified actions. This means that the psyche, as well as all nature, functions according to stochastic laws, which allow for ambiguity, uncertainty in the operation of any element in the system under constant external conditions. The way to deal with deviations in this case is to reduce the proportion of uncertainty in the functioning of the system, for example, by replacing more "undefined" elements (control, indication, signaling, etc.) with less uncertain, i.e. those with which fewer mistakes are made (by duplicating elements, introducing feedback, etc.).

  • 3. Deviations occur in the presence of extreme, extreme operating conditions, for example, the graduation of the scales is very small, difficult to distinguish, or the toggle switches are located too close to each other. In this case, normal operating conditions should be ensured, i.e. bring the situation back to normal.

  • 4. One has only to complicate the situation a little, as a person who coped with it perfectly begins to admit malfunctions, for example, in piloting when weather conditions become more complicated. This means that the person is under-educated, and the way to deal with deviations in this case is to change the nature of learning.

  • 5. In the same situations, some people make mistakes and others do not. It follows from this that some are able to act correctly in such a situation, while others are not capable, i.e. some people have the ability to do the job, while others do not. This implies a way to deal with mistakes: selection of people with abilities corresponding to the given activity.

  • 6. In some situations, many different people make mistakes all the time. From this it follows that these situations do not correspond to the natural capabilities of a person, he is not adapted to such conditions, for example, to perform simultaneously two different types of activities, such as: piloting at low altitude and at the same time observing the ground. In this case, one should take into account the person's ability to act in such situations and carry out training - working out the properties that a person has so that the conditions become acceptable for him.

  • 7. In some cases, human actions are destructive, destructive; destructive action can be directed at oneself. This happens because the instinct of destruction is present in a person. In order to avoid such deviations, a person should be subjected to psychotherapeutic treatment in order to weaken the action of the instinct.

  • 8. In a situation in which a person has already done everything correctly many times, a failure is suddenly allowed. This means that in this case the motivation for the success of the activity is weakened for some reason; the person is not sufficiently interested in performing such an activity, and hence the negligence in its implementation, leading to a failure. In order to avoid such deviations, a person should be properly motivated, interested in completing the task, applying positive or negative reinforcement to him.


It should be noted that the above point of view do not exclude each other, virtually any event, error, the deviation can be explained by taking any point. These qualifications are a priori, that is, the scientist has an opinion about the causes of the error before it occurs.


Thus, the administrative point of view to write off all the freedom of a person, without going into the cause of the error. In this sense, any deviation is a misdemeanor. "Scientific" point of view, denying a person the freedom interprets any deviation as a forced act. The man thus turns into an irresponsible cog ceases to be an active conscious actor.


As you can see, and in that, and in another position is permitted only one type of deviation: misconduct or involuntary action. Clearly, this is too large generalization. Consider the possible types of abnormalities in human activities.


First of all, one can speak of a person's error only if he has free will. Otherwise, his actions will be forced, for which he is not responsible. Behavior is forced, firstly, in the case when the freedom of a person is taken away and he comes under compulsion, for example, under direct order or in accordance with the letter of the instruction, although he personally may not agree with the order or consider that in this situation it is better Step back from the paragraphs of the instruction. Secondly, behavior is forced in the event that a man by his nature can not control events. For example, various kinds of illusions of perception arise irrespective of the will and will of a person who can not always use objective indicators to identify the illusory nature of his perception. In such cases, one can not also incriminate a person for responsibility for wrong actions he has committed.


But if there is free will is not any deviation is a mistake. Freedom of choice presupposes that a person has alternatives, each of which leads to a certain result. Focusing on a particular outcome, and the people make their choice, thus demonstrating the freedom of choice. In order to make responsible choices, one must understand, realize the connection with the result of their actions. Speaking psychologically, he must have the freedom of consciousness.


There are situations in which there is no possibility of understanding. This happens in two instances.


The first - when the situation is not beyond comprehension, for example, the aircraft is in a critical mode of flight, for which the unknown laws of its behavior, so the driver does not know what will or that of his action. Rational basis for the choice is not present.


Second - when the pilot loses the ability of awareness, either consciousness itself is in critical condition, as happens, for example, hypoxia, or a person loses consciousness. When a person does not have the freedom of mind, his actions are spontaneous, unregulated by himself; the outcome of the situation in this case depends on how lucky or unlucky. Responsibility for the outcome of such situations shall not pilot who has made a false move, and the one to blame for the pilot was in a similar situation (maybe he's on his own initiative was in it).


So, in the absence of freedom of will and consciousness of the action is either forced or spontaneous. Obviously, neither one nor the other can not be considered a mistake.


But if there is free will and consciousness are not any wrong action is a mistake. If the behavior is carried to a certain situation, i.e. People know what to do right and what will his wrong action, and, nevertheless, it does specifically, it is not a mistake but a crime (mischief, sabotage). For example, the co-pilot saw that the commander is wrong, but corrects him wanting to punish the commander.


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