PSC Seminar: Cognitive Biases in the Risk Matrix

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Purdue Systems Collaboratory

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Cognitive Biases in the Risk Matrix

Thursday April 5th 2018, 3-4pm, WALC 3122



Risk matrices used in industry characterize particular risks in terms of the likelihood of occurrence, and the consequence of the actualized risk. Human cognitive bias research led by Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky exposed systematic translations of objective probability and value as judged by human subjects. Applying these translations to the risk matrix allows the explanation of observations of risk point placement biases. Industry-generated risk matrix data reveals evidence of biases in the judgment of likelihood and consequence — principally, likelihood centering, a systematic increase in consequence, and a diagonal bias. Evidence presented could improve risk matrix based risk analysis prevalent in industry.

Eric Smith

Eric D. Smith is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), a Minority Serving Institution (MSI) and a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), He works within the Industrial, Manufacturing and Systems Engineering (IMSE) Department, in particular with the Master of Science in Systems Engineering Program.  He earned a B.S. in Physics in 1994, an M.S. in Systems Engineering in 2003, and his Ph.D. in Systems and Industrial Engineering in 2006 from the University of Arizona in Tucson, AZ. He performs research at the interface of systems engineering, cognitive science, and multi-criteria decision making.

If you wish to meet in person with Prof. Eric Smith or would like to know more about his visit to Purdue, please reach out to Prof. Kenley ( Smith event bottom


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