Health and Safety CONFERENCE

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Understanding Human Decision Making to Future-Proof Safety Behaviour

Cristian Sylvestre
Managing Director, HabitSafe

There has been considerable research (empirical studies and academic papers) during the last 10 years investigating human decision making.

The most disruptive discovery is that what we think of as a deliberate choice (an “active” conscious decision) happens fundamentally in the subconscious and is fed to the conscious mind very late in the neurological process. This is why it feels like we only make conscious decisions.

Three thinking principles help explain human decision making and enable us to understand human behaviour better.

These are automatic thinking (autopilot), social thinking and mental thinking models. As such, they also provide valuable clues to determine how we can future-proof efforts by organisations to make behaviours safer.

The lessons from these three thinking principles can be applied to three different layers in organisations:

  1. Leadership
  2. Teams
  3. Individuals

The latest findings from studies in neuroscience, behaviour science, cognitive behavioural science and neuropsychology are used to explain how safety behaviour can be influenced more effectively.