Personalising the experience to improve the risk management behaviour of pilots

Brett R. C. Molesworth, Mark W. Wiggins

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review


Traditional risk management training in the aviation environment focuses on the presentation of accident statistics and warnings with the expectation that exposure to this information will positively influence pilots' future behaviour. Such training programmes, however, have experienced only limited success. Moreover, exposing individuals to this type of information may confirm a self-fulfilling prophecy, in which individuals perceive that they are safer and more skilful than they are in reality. Dejoy (1992) suggests that, to overcome this problem, training programmes need to directly demonstrate an individual's limits and capabilities. Typically, this requires active involvement in the performance of a task. The present study examined the extent to which personalised experiences of risky situations improved the subsequent performance of pilots. Forty pilots were divided into groups so that some pilots were actively involved during training, while others acted as observers. Following training, half of the participants in each group received feedback concerning their performance. During a test flight, one week later, those participants who were actively involved in the flight displayed more risk averse behaviour compared to those participants who were observers. Furthermore, the provision of feedback during training only appeared beneficial when pilots were able to recall similarities between the test flight and other flights that they had experienced.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPsychological science in action
Subtitle of host publicationproceedings of the 39th APS Annual Conference, 29 September - 3 October, Sydney NSW
EditorsMary Katsikitis
Place of PublicationMelbourne
PublisherAustralian Psychological Society
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)0909881251
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes
EventAustralian Psychological Society Conference (39th : 2004) - Sydney
Duration: 29 Sept 20043 Oct 2004


ConferenceAustralian Psychological Society Conference (39th : 2004)


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