There’s been a lot of ink expended on examinations of the causes of the Challenger disaster, whose anniversary passed quietly by yesterday, but are we really the wiser for it?
Archives For NASA
What the economic theory of sunk costs tells us about plan continuation bias
Plan continuation bias is a recognised and subtle cognitive bias that tends to force the continuation of an existing plan or course of action even in the face of changing conditions. In the field of aerospace it has been recognised as a significant causal factor in accidents, with a 2004 NASA study finding that in 9 out of the 19 accidents studied aircrew exhibited this behavioural bias. One explanation of this behaviour may be a version of the well known ‘sunk cost‘ economic heuristic.
Why taking risk is an inherent part of the human condition
On the 6th of May 1968 Neil Armstrong stepped aboard the Lunar Lander Test Vehicle (LLTV) for a routine training mission. During the flight the vehicle went out of control and crashed with Armstrong ejecting to safety seconds before impact. Continue Reading…