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Generic Error-Modelling System (GEMS)

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Article Information
Category: Human Performance Modelling Human Performance Modelling
Content source: SKYbrary About SKYbrary
Content control: EUROCONTROL EUROCONTROL

Description

The Generic Error-Modelling System (GEMS) integrates, within the same framework, the different error mechanisms (slips, lapses and mistakes) and the three levels of performance (Skill, Rule, Knowledge (SRK)). The integration of these two dimensions allows us to:

  1. Gain a deeper understanding the nature of mistakes: Indeed, we can distinguish between rule-based mistakes and knowledge-based mistakes
  2. Appreciate the details of the differences among error types
  3. Appreciate how errors can be considered the "other side of the coin" of those cognitive processes that allow us to act quickly or find creative solutions.
  4. Anticipate when, and in what conditions, a certain type of error may occur.

GEMS and errors

Errors can occur at each level of performance:

  • skill-based (SB): slips and lapses
    • usually errors of inattention or misplaced attention
  • rule-based (RB): mistakes
    • usually a result of picking an inappropriate rule
    • caused by misconstrued view of state, over-zealous pattern matching, frequency gambling, deficient rules
  • knowledge-based (KB): mistakes
    • due to incomplete/inaccurate understanding of system, confirmation bias, overconfidence, cognitive strain, ...

Errors can result from operating at wrong level:

  • humans are reluctant to move from a RB to KB level even if rules aren’t working
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