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Accident proneness revisited: The role of psychological stress and cognitive failure

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Understanding why accidents occur in the work place has a long and convoluted history. This paper adds to this corpus of research by investigating the relationship between an individual's level of cognitive failure, psychological stress, and work place accident occurrence. Retrospective analysis of accident-case individuals vs. control-match individuals on the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) and Cognitive Failures Questionnaire (CFQ) was undertaken from amalgamated data of two Royal Navy databases. Individuals in the accident-case sub-sample had higher GHQ and CFQ scores when compared to matched-controls. Mediated regression analysis revealed high GHQ score predicted accidents but was transmitted through high CFQ scores. Individuals who are stressed are more likely to have an accident in the workplace because of a propensity for cognitive failures. A specific recommendation to reduce accident risk in the work-place is discussed.
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Accident
Analysis
and
Prevention
49 (2012) 532–
535
Contents
lists
available
at
SciVerse
ScienceDirect
Accident
Analysis
and
Prevention
jo
ur
n
al
hom
ep
a
ge:
www.elsevier.com/locate/aap
Accident
proneness
revisited:
The
role
of
psychological
stress
and
cognitive
failure
Andrea
J.
Day, Kate
Brasher,
Robert
S.
Bridger
Environmental
Medicine
and
Science,
Institute
of
Naval
Medicine,
Crescent
Rd,
Alverstoke,
Hants,
PO12
2DL,
UK
a
r
t
i
c
l
e
i
n
f
o
Article
history:
Received
28
October
2011
Received
in
revised
form
23
January
2012
Accepted
21
March
2012
Keywords:
Stress
CFQ
GHQ
Accidents
a
b
s
t
r
a
c
t
Understanding
why
accidents
occur
in
the
work
place
has
a
long
and
convoluted
history.
This
paper
adds
to
this
corpus
of
research
by
investigating
the
relationship
between
an
individual’s
level
of
cognitive
failure,
psychological
stress,
and
work
place
accident
occurrence.
Retrospective
analysis
of
accident-
case
individuals
vs.
control-match
individuals
on
the
General
Health
Questionnaire
(GHQ)
and
Cognitive
Failures
Questionnaire
(CFQ)
was
undertaken
from
amalgamated
data
of
two
Royal
Navy
databases.
Individuals
in
the
accident-case
sub-sample
had
higher
GHQ
and
CFQ
scores
when
compared
to
matched-
controls.
Mediated
regression
analysis
revealed
high
GHQ
score
predicted
accidents
but
was
transmitted
through
high
CFQ
scores.
Individuals
who
are
stressed
are
more
likely
to
have
an
accident
in
the
workplace
because
of
a
propensity
for
cognitive
failures.
A
specific
recommendation
to
reduce
accident
risk
in
the
work-place
is
discussed.
Crown Copyright ©
2012 Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
1.
Introduction
and
literature
review
The
concept
of
accident-proneness
emerged
around
the
turn
of
the
20th
Century,
when
researchers
found
that
statistical
mod-
els
of
industrial
accident
frequency
did
not
follow
a
Poisson
distribution,
as
had
been
anticipated
(Bates
and
Neyman,
1952;
Davids
and
Mahoney,
1957;
Mckenna,
1983;
Peck
et
al.,
1971;
Visser
et
al.,
2007).
Rather,
it
seemed
that
individuals
differed
in
accident
propensity,
leading
to
the
notion
of
accident
proneness
(Greenwood
and
Woods,
1919).
The
idea
that
some
people
have
a
tendency
to
have
more
accidents
than
others
lost
favour
in
the
lat-
ter
part
of
the
twentieth
century
and
researchers
focussed
more
on
design
of
the
work
environment
and
of
the
safety
systems
in
place
(Burnham,
2009;
Dekker,
2006).
More
recently,
however,
several
studies
have
been
published
which
show
that
a
measure
of
cognitive
lapses
and
slips,
(the
Cog-
nitive
Failures
Questionnaire,
CFQ;
Broadbent
et
al.,
1982),
predicts
safety
behaviour,
slips
and
lapses
in
daily
working
life
(e.g.,
Issever
et
al.,
2008;
Kass
et
al.,
2010).
The
CFQ
is
of
interest
because
it
mea-
sures
an
individual’s
discernment
of
their
perception,
action,
and
memory
capabilities
(Schmidt
et
al.,
2007).
Indeed,
the
everyday
failures
measured
by
the
CFQ
mirror
the
typologies
used
by
many
safety
researchers
to
classify
human
error
(e.g.,
omission,
commis-
sion,
and
psychomotor
errors,
Hendrie
et
al.,
2007;
Ferreira
et
al.,
Corresponding
author.
Tel.:
+44
(0)2392
768196;
fax:
+44
(0)2392
504823.
E-mail
addresses:
Andrea.Day101@mod.uk
(A.J.
Day),
Kate.Brasher549@mod.uk
(K.
Brasher),
Bob.Bridger300@mod.uk
(R.S.
Bridger).
2009;
Norman,
1981).
Importantly,
Broadbent
et
al.
(1982)
held
that
the
CFQ
measures
a
trait
that
is
largely
stable,
citing
as
evidence
of
stability
correlation
coefficients
of
0.85
and
0.80
for
CFQ
test-retest
reliability
over
25
and
65
week
periods.
Larson
et
al.
(1997)
found
a
strong
relationship
between
the
CFQ
and
actual
mishaps
suggesting
a
linkage
between
high
CFQ
scores
and
accidents.
This
result
is
in
line
with
other
research
that
demonstrates
accidents
can
result
from
distractibility,
mental
error
and
poor
selective
attention.
Wallace
and
Vodanovich
(2003)
found
that
several
indicators
of
organisational
safety
were
associ-
ated
with
CFQ
scores
including
supervisor
ratings
of
individuals’
safety
behaviour.
Cognitive
failure
uniquely
accounted
for
work-
place
safety
behaviour
and
accidents.
Taken
together,
this
research
suggests
that
people
with
high
scores
on
the
cognitive
failures
questionnaire
are
more
likely
to
have
accidents
due
to
lower
atten-
tiveness,
which
implies
that
they
are
always
at
greater
risk
than
those
with
low
CFQ
scores.
In
other
words,
accident
proneness
equates
with
a
tendency
toward
cognitive
failure
in
daily
life.
However,
an
addition
to
this
line
of
thought
is
that
accidents
are
caused
because
people
under
stress
are
more
susceptible
to
cogni-
tive
failures,
and
these
lapses
then
cause
accidents.
For
example,
the
Maritime
Coastguard
Agency
(2007)
in
the
UK
states
that
one
of
the
effects
of
job
stress
is
fatigue
causing
error
due
to
lapses
of
attention,
memory
problems
and
slower
reaction
time.
Indeed,
Wallace
and
Chen
(2005)
suggested
that
it
would
be
worthwhile
to
examine
the
role
of
anxiety
and
stress
on
cognitive
failure.
Accord-
ing
to
this
view,
stress
coupled
with
cognitive
dysfunction
is
the
major
cause
of
accidents
rather
than
the
accident
proneness
of
the
employee
per
se.
Ohman
et
al.
(2007)
highlighted
the
issue
0001-4575/$
see
front
matter.
Crown Copyright ©
2012 Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aap.2012.03.028
Author's personal copy
A.J.
Day
et
al.
/
Accident
Analysis
and
Prevention
49 (2012) 532–
535 533
that
patients
with
perceived
chronic
stress
also
report
cognitive
dysfunction.
Specifically,
they
found
that
this
dysfunction
was
a
selective
deficit
mainly
affecting
episodic
memory
and
divided
attention.
David
et
al.
(2002)
compared
Gulf
War
veterans
with
impaired
functioning,
with
healthy
Gulf
War
veterans
on
a
bat-
tery
of
tests
including
the
CFQ.
Differences
in
neuropsychological
functioning
were
found
with
ill-groups
performing
worse
and
hav-
ing
higher
CFQ
scores.
Van
der
Linden
et
al.
(2005)
compared
CFQ
and
cognitive
performance
test
scores
in
three
groups
teachers
with
no
burnout,
teachers
reporting
burnout
symptoms
and
hos-
pital
patients
with
burnout.
CFQ
scores
were
higher
in
the
burnout
group
and
highest
in
patients,
as
was
the
number
of
errors
made
on
the
sustained
attention
to
response
test
(Manly
et
al.,
2002),
which
is
a
measure
of
executive
control
of
motor
response.
1.1.
Study
goals
The
present
paper
describes
an
analysis
of
data
from
a
cohort
study
of
occupational
stress
in
the
Royal
Navy
(Bridger
et
al.,
2010).
Data
from
2008
Phase
III
and
2010
Phase
V
of
the
survey
were
analysed
to
determine
whether
(cumulative)
scores
on
the
Gen-
eral
Health
Questionnaire
(Goldberg
and
Williams,
1988)
and
the
CFQ
(Broadbent
et
al.,
1982),
were
related
to
the
occurrence
of
acci-
dents
over
a
three-year
period
(2007–2010).
It
was
hypothesised
that
individuals
who
had
an
accident
in
the
Navy
will
have
high
scores
on
the
GHQ-12
and
CFQ
when
compared
to
individuals
who
did
not
have
an
accident.
Further,
it
was
hypothesised
that
GHQ-12
score
will
significantly
predict
whether
an
individual
has
had
an
accident
or
not,
and
that
CFQ
score
(cognitive
functioning)
will
sig-
nificantly
mediate
the
relationship
between
GHQ
and
whether
an
individual
has
had
an
accident
or
not
(the
behavioural
outcome).
2.
Materials
and
method
2.1.
Participants
In
total
N
=
56
individuals
were
present
in
both
the
accident
and
the
stress
survey
databases.
These
individuals
were
matched
on
gender,
age,
rank
and
length
of
service
with
controls
from
the
stress
survey
database.
No
viable
matches
were
found
for
3
individuals
resulting
in
their
exclusion
from
the
analysis.
Two
matched
case-
controls
were
obtained
for
each
of
the
53
individuals
who
had
an
accident
in
the
Navy,
resulting
in
a
total
sample
of
159
individuals.
2.2.
Measures
General
Health
Questionnaire
(GHQ-12:
˛
=
0.91):
a
twelve-item
questionnaire
measuring
current
levels
of
‘psychological
stress’
(anxiety
and
depression)
in
personnel,
yielding
a
Likert
score
from
0
to
36
(Goldberg
and
Williams,
1988).
Cognitive
Failures
Questionnaire
(CFQ:
˛
=
0.92):
a
twenty-
five-item
questionnaire
measuring
everyday
task
failures
that
individuals
are
normally
capable
of
completing
(Wallace
and
Vodanovich,
2003).
Each
item
is
scored
on
a
0–4
Likert
scale
giving
a
range
of
CFQ
scores
from
0
to
100.
Accident
measure:
binary
outcome
(coded
0
=
no
accident;
1
=
accident).
2.3.
Procedure
This
research
was
conducted
by
amalgamating
information
from
two
separate
databases.
The
first
database
held
information
on
accidents
in
the
Navy
from
January
2007
to
March
2010.
The
total
number
of
accidents
recorded
in
this
period
was
4378.
In
the
Royal
Navy
an
accident
is
defined
as
an
unintended
event
or
sequence
of
events
that
causes
harm.
When
an
accident
occurs
it
is
reported
by
Table
1
GHQ
and
CFQ
score
by
accident-case
group
vs.
no
accident
match-case
controls.
Mean
SD
95%
CI
GHQ:
Accident
group
(n
=
53) 14.55
6.64
12.72–16.38
Control
group
(n
=
104) 11.14
5.99
9.54–12.73
CFQ:
Accident
group
(n
=
53)
42.89
13.53
39.35–46.42
Control
group
(n
=
104)
32.75
12.46
29.18–36.32
the
individual’s
line
manager
according
to
a
written
policy
and
clas-
sified
in
terms
of
the
severity
of
harm
to
the
individual(s)
involved.
This
classification
system
spans
from
‘near
miss’,
‘minor’,
‘serious’,
‘major’,
and
‘fatality’.
Most
accidents
were
minor
in
nature
meaning
they
resulted
in
the
individual
being
incapacitated
for
three
days
or
less
(e.g.,
trapped
fingers,
knocks
against
foreign
objects,
trip-
ping
on
gang
planks
and
falling
through
open
hatches).
Although
the
accident
measure
is
treated
as
a
binary
outcome
in
this
paper
(due
to
the
number
of
accident
cases),
it
is
worth
noting
that
48
accident
cases
had
more
than
one
accident,
some
having
as
many
as
five
accidents
recorded
between
January
2007
and
March
2010
(mean
accident
occurrence
for
the
accident
case
group
is
2.5).
This
indicates
that
some
individuals
are
accident
prone
(i.e.,
they
have
multiple
accident
occurrences).
The
second
database
held
longitu-
dinal
data
on
occupational
stressors
and
psychological
strain
in
the
Navy
between
January
2008
to
June
2008
and
January
2010
to
June
2010,
and
included
demographic
information
on
individuals
as
well
as
the
specific
measures
of
interest
(GHQ
and
CFQ
scores).
The
two
databases
were
cross-referenced
to
identify
individuals
who
had
an
accident
in
the
Navy
and
were
also
present
in
the
stress
database
and
control
matches
in
the
accident
case
sub-sample
(i.e.,
individu-
als
who
did
not
have
an
accident
in
the
Navy,
but
were
also
present
in
the
stress
database).
3.
Results
and
discussion
3.1.
Data
analysis
strategy
Data
were
checked
for
normality
using
the
Shapiro–Wilk
and
Kurtosis/Skewness
tests
for
normal
distribution.
Descriptive
statis-
tics
were
generated
for
the
accident
case
group
and
the
two
control
groups
to
check
individuals
were
closely
matched
on
age,
rank,
gender,
and
years
served
in
the
Navy.
In
the
proceeding
analysis
two
groups
were
used;
accident-case
group
(n
=
53)
vs.
matched-
controls
group
(n
=
104).
Independent
groups
t-tests
were
used
to
determine
whether
GHQ
and
CFQ
scores
differed
significantly
between
accident-cases
and
matched-controls.
Logistic
regression
was
used
to
examine
the
relationship
between
the
two
hypoth-
esised
predictors
(GHQ-12
score
and
CFQ
score)
and
the
binary
outcome
accident
event.
3.2.
Descriptives
After
excluding
two
individuals
who
indicated
their
wish
to
withdraw
their
information
from
the
accident
study,
N
=
157
par-
ticipants;
subdividing
into
accident
case
group
n
=
53;
match
group
1
n
=
53;
match
group
2
n
=
51.
3.3.
Stress
and
accidents
An
independent
groups
t-test
was
conducted
for
GHQ
scores
with
group
type
(accident-case
vs.
matched-control)
as
the
inde-
pendent
variable
(see
Table
1).
Reported
stress
differed
significantly
between
individuals
in
the
accident-case
group
compared
to
matched-case
controls
(no
accident),
see
Table
1;
t(154)
=
4.61,
Author's personal copy
534 A.J.
Day
et
al.
/
Accident
Analysis
and
Prevention
49 (2012) 532–
535
Table
2
Descriptives
and
intercorrelations
between
outcome,
predictor
and
mediator
(N
=
157).
Mean SD 1
2
3
1.
Accident
(0
=
no;
1
=
yes)
0.26** 0.46**
2.
GHQ –
0.35**
3.
CFQ
Note.
**
p
<
0.001
p
=
0.005.
Individuals
in
the
accident-case
group
had
significantly
higher
reported
stress
than
the
match-case
controls,
(i.e.,
the
indi-
viduals
who
had
not
had
an
accident
in
the
Navy).
The
mean
GHQ-12
score
for
the
RN
as
a
whole
was
12.84(s.d.
5.63).
The
mean
score
for
controls
was
at
the
37th
percentile
whereas
that
for
acci-
dent
cases
was
in
the
63rd
percentile,
indicating
that
they
are
more
likely
to
be
classified
as
suffering
from
psychological
strain.
Analysis
of
earlier
phases
of
the
longitudinal
study
(Bridger
et
al.,
2008)
shows
that
several
workplace
psychosocial
stressors
are
associated
with
this
stress,
including
role
conflict,
work–family
conflict,
effort–reward
imbalance
and
dissatisfaction
with
the
physical
work
environment.
Exposure
to
occupational
stress
beyond
the
ability
to
cope
is
known
to
have
adverse
consequences
for
individuals
and
much
attention
has
been
paid
to
the
adverse
health
effects
of
stress
(e.g.,
Bosma
et
al.,
1998).
The
present
find-
ings
suggest
that
occupational
stress
may
also
have
implications
for
safety
via
accidents
in
the
workplace.
3.4.
Cognitive
failures
and
accidents
An
independent
groups
t-test
was
conducted
for
CFQ
scores
with
group
type
(accident-case
vs.
matched-control)
as
the
inde-
pendent
variable
(Table
1).
Reported
cognitive
failures
differed
significantly
between
individuals
in
the
accident-case
group
com-
pared
to
matched-case
controls
(Table
1);
t(154)
=
4.60,
p
=
0.005.
Individuals
in
the
accident-case
group
had
significantly
higher
reported
cognitive
failures
than
the
match-case
controls.
In
the
Royal
Navy
as
a
whole,
the
mean
CFQ
score
is
37.6
(SD
=
14.0,
N
=
1305;
taken
from
Bridger
et
al.,
2010).
The
mean
CFQ
scores
in
the
two
control
samples
were
in
the
33rd
and
41st
percentiles
of
this
CFQ
distribution,
whereas
the
accident
group
mean
was
at
the
65th
percentile.
A
CFQ
score
above
40.0
repre-
sents
increased
risk
of
psychological
strain
(Bridger
et
al.,
2010).
The
control
group
CFQ
scores
are
as
expected
for
non-depressed,
healthy
people,
whereas
the
accident
group
CFQ
scores
are
in
the
range
expected
in
depressed,
but
not
clinically
depressed
people
(Sullivan
and
Payne,
2007;
David
et
al.,
2002).
Typologies
of
human
error,
such
as
that
of
Norman
(1981)
often
distinguish
between
skill-based
errors,
involving
failures
of
attention
(‘slips’)
and
failures
of
memory
(‘lapses’)
and
rule
or
knowledge-based
errors
(e.g.,
using
the
wrong
rule
or
misinterpret-
ing
the
information).
Many
of
the
accidents
suffered
by
personnel
in
the
study
do
appear
to
have
involved
attention
in
some
way
(e.g.,
bumping
into
things,
falling
down
hatches
and
so
on)
and
suggest
a
more
general
failure
of
goal-directedness
or
the
ability
to
monitor
one’s
actions
in
relation
to
one’s
intentions.
3.5.
Predicting
work
place
accidents
Pearson
r
correlations
were
run
between
the
hypothesised
pre-
dictors
(stress
and
cognitive
failures)
and
the
binary
outcome
accident
event
(Table
2).
Using
(enter
method)
logistic
regression,
stress
(GHQ
score)
was
entered
as
a
predictor
at
Step
1
with
case-control
as
the
binary
out-
come
(coded:
match-control
=
0
vs.
accident-case
=
1).
It
revealed
GHQ
to
be
a
significant
predictor
of
whether
an
individual
had
an
accident
or
not
2=
10.59,
p
<
0.001
with
B
=
0.09,
SE
=
0.03,
ω(1,
156)
=
9.92,
p
=
0.002.
Individuals
scoring
high
on
the
GHQ
(high
in
stress
and
anxiety/depression)
were
more
likely
to
have
had
an
accident
in
the
Navy.
At
Step
2,
the
mediator
cognitive
failures
(CFQ
score)
was
entered
and
found
to
be
a
significant
predic-
tor
of
whether
an
individual
had
an
accident
or
not
2=
19.91,
p
<
0.001
with
B
=
0.06,
SE
=
0.01,
ω(1,
155)
=
16.82,
p
<
0.001.
Thus,
individuals
scoring
high
on
the
CFQ
are
more
likely
to
have
had
an
accident
in
the
Navy.
Importantly,
the
inclusion
of
CFQ
score
at
Step
2
resulted
in
the
significant
relationship
between
GHQ
and
accidents
to
become
non-significant;
B
=
0.05,
SE
=
0.03,
ω(1,
155)
=
2.17,
p
=
0.14
inferring
complete
mediation
by
CFQ.
Using
equations
from
MacKinnon
and
Dwyer’s
(1993)
paper
for
binary
outcome
mediation
analyses
(see
also,
MacKinnon
et
al.,
2007;
Baron
and
Kenny,
1986)
a
Sobel
test
confirms
significant
medi-
ation
z
=
2.85,
p
=
0.004.
This
demonstrates
that
high
CFQ
scores
are
the
process
or
mechanism
through
which
high
stress
(anxi-
ety/depression)
determines
whether
an
accident
occurs
or
not.
So,
individuals
experiencing
increased
stress
are
more
likely
to
have
an
accident,
because
they
are
susceptible
to
cognitive
failures
(dif-
ficulty
with
everyday
tasks
involving
psychomotor,
attention
and
memory
skills).
It
is
of
interest
to
consider
the
mechanism
by
which
CFQ
might
increase
accident
risk.
It
could
be
argued
that
the
CFQ
measures
cognitive
control
capacity
in
daily
life,
which
depends
on
executive
function
and
is
drawn
upon
when
personnel
receive
demands
to
prioritise,
to
switch
between
tasks,
to
monitor
multiple
sources
of
information
and
to
resist
distraction
and
sudden
impulses.
Exec-
utive
function
is
a
top-down
process
vital
for
goal
selection,
the
maintenance
of
goal-directed
behaviours
and
coping
with
novel
sit-
uations
(Banich,
2009).
It
is
part
of
self-regulation,
which
is
known
to
be
a
limited
resource:
acts
of
self-regulation
in
any
particular
task
lower
the
capacity
for
further
self-regulation
unless
sufficient
time
is
available
for
recovery
(Gailliot
et
al.,
2007).
The
mechanism
of
mediation
of
the
stressaccident
relationship
by
CFQ
score
may
have
something
to
do
with
the
current
capacity
of
individuals’
to
regulate
their
thought
and
attentional
processes
which
leads
to
accidents.
That
is
to
say,
people
who
are
stressed
have
difficultly
regulating
the
focus
of
their
attention,
memory
and
psychomotor
processes
(McEwen,
2006)
and
high
scores
on
the
CFQ
indicate
a
self-reported
deficiency
for
these
areas
of
functioning.
Especially
when
work
demands
are
high,
individuals
with
high
CFQ
scores
who
are
stressed
are
for
example
unlikely
to
notice
an
open
hatch,
or
are
likely
to
trip/slip/fall
on
ships.
This
would
potentially
explain
why
psychological
stress
leads
to
increased
accident
risk
in
those
with
high
CFQ
scores.
It
is
noteworthy
that
several
of
the
acute
stressors
associated
with
point
strain
in
Naval
personnel
involve
dealing
with
conflict
these
are
precisely
the
kinds
of
demands
that
people
with
poor
executive
function
would
find
most
challenging.
Finally,
this
data
provides
considerable
support
for
the
kinds
of
interventions
recommended
by
researchers
into
human
error
and
accidents.
The
findings
re-emphasise
the
role
of
attention
in
the
causation
of
minor
accidents,
first
described
by
Norman
(1981)
as
slips
and
lapses.
In
addition,
the
data
indicate
that
proneness
to
such
slips
and
lapses
is
more
likely
in
the
presence
of
anxi-
ety/depression.
This
provides
a
clear
message
concerning
accidents
in
the
workplace:
people
under
stress
with
poor
cognitive
func-
tioning
capabilities
(namely
attention,
memory,
and
psychomotor
coordination)
are
more
likely
to
have
accidents.
Future
research
into
accident
prevention
needs
to
consider
interventions
based
on
reducing
job-related
stress,
in
order
to
reduce
the
impact
poor
cognitive
functioning
has
upon
behavioural
outcomes
such
as
errors
and
accidents
in
the
workplace.
The
focus
needs
to
be
upon
reducing
job-related
anxiety
and
depression
(stress)
because
this
component
is
less
stable
than
cognitive
func-
tioning
and
logically
its
un-trait
like
nature
would
make
it
more
Author's personal copy
A.J.
Day
et
al.
/
Accident
Analysis
and
Prevention
49 (2012) 532–
535 535
susceptible
to
amelioration.
Where
it
is
not
possible
to
change
the
work
demands
or
the
work
environment
(e.g.,
in
hazardous
expeditions
to
isolate
or
extreme
environments)
the
CFQ
could
conceivably
be
used
as
a
selection
tool.
Indeed,
Finomore
(2009)
have
suggested
that
the
CFQ
might
be
used
to
select
individuals
for
all
jobs
that
make
high
demands
on
vigilance.
Finally,
although
the
findings
might
be
cited
as
evidence
for
the
existence
of
‘acci-
dent
prone’
people
it
is
demonstrated
quite
clearly
that
any
such
propensity
depends
on
situational
factors
such
as
work
demands.
Support
for
these
assertions
comes
from
a
two-year
repeatabil-
ity
study
carried
on
the
members
of
the
same
cohort
(Bridger
and
Brasher,
submitted
to
Ergonomics).
The
test-retest
reliability
of
the
summated
CFQ
score
was
found
to
be
0.71,
while
for
the
GHQ-12
strain
measure
it
was
0.32
(N
=
534).
The
relative
variance
stabil-
ity
was
5
times
greater
for
the
CFQ
than
the
GHQ
indicating
that
scores
on
these
questionnaires
are
not
co-variates
and
that
the
CFQ
is
a
trait
like
measure,
whereas
GHQ
co-varies
with
work
demands
(Bridger
et
al.,
2008).
One
key
limitation
to
this
research
is
the
sample
size
(N
=
159),
which
impacts
upon
the
generalizabiity
of
the
findings.
The
stress
data
were
based
on
a
57%
response
rate
from
a
sample
of
over
4000
personnel
(Bridger
et
al.,
2008,
2010).
Analysis
of
non
response
bias
revealed
minor
(6%)
bias
due
to
age
and
lower
rank.
Younger
per-
sonnel
and
those
of
lesser
rank
were
less
likely
to
respond
to
the
survey.
Younger
personnel
in
the
RN
experience
more
stress,
but
the
correlation
with
CFQ
and
age
in
our
sample
is
weak
(r
=
0.095,
p
<
0.05,
N
=
535).
Thus,
the
effect
size
of
the
stress-CFQ-accident
relationship
may
have
been
underestimated.
In
the
future,
we
aim
to
repeat
this
analysis
and
cross-reference
the
accident
and
RN
longitudinal
survey
databases
to
gain
a
larger
case-control
sample.
4.
Conclusion
The
findings
support
the
prediction
of
Broadbent
et
al.
(1982)
that
a
high
CFQ
score,
which
is
a
trait-like
measure,
indicates
increased
vulnerability
when
job
demands
are
high.
Those
with
psychological
stress
are
more
likely
to
have
an
accident
at
work
because
of
increased
susceptibility
to
cognitive
failure.
The
find-
ings
indicate
that
stress
management
should
be
incorporated
more
explicitly
into
occupational
safety
programmes
and
the
safety
implications,
as
well
as
the
health
risks,
of
occupational
stress
require
greater
emphasis.
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Organisational
Psychology
78,
615–632.
Wallace,
J.C.,
Vodanovich,
S.J.,
2003.
Workplace
safety
performance:
conscientious-
ness,
cognitive
failure
and
their
interaction.
Journal
of
Occupational
Health
Psychology
8,
316–327.
... A prominent construct that has been linked to accident proneness is "cognitive failure, " which denotes an overall propensity of an individual to experience slips and lapses in cognitive functioning and control (Broadbent et al., 1982). Numerous studies using the Cognitive Failures Questionnaire (CFQ) have suggested that cognitive failure is a largely stable trait-like construct that predicts involvement in accidents (Broadbent et al., 1982;Larson et al., 1997;Finomore et al., 2009;Bridger et al., 2013) and unsafe work behaviors (Wallace and Vodanovich, 2003;Day et al., 2012). Nevertheless, researchers of accidents have argued that cognitive failure represents only a fraction of the possible varieties of behavioral antecedents of accidents. ...
... The FP focuses on psychological characteristics (rather than situational factors). Based on past studies (e.g., Broadbent et al., 1982;Larson et al., 1997;Finomore et al., 2009;Bridger et al., 2013), we assume that the predisposition to behavioral failures is a largely stable trait-like construct that predicts involvement in accidents and unsafe work behaviors (Wallace and Vodanovich, 2003;Day et al., 2012). Our aim was to develop an instrument that: (a) encompasses distinct categories of behavioral failures that occur in a wide variety of mundane contexts, and (b) is concise enough to use in research without taxing the participants. ...
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Behavioral failures can serve as precursors for accidents. Yet, individual differences in the predisposition to behavioral failures have predominantly been investigated within relatively narrow parameters, with the focus limited to subsets of behaviors or specific domains. A broader perspective might prove useful in illuminating correlations between various forms of accidents. The current research was undertaken as one step toward developing the concept of behavioral failures proneness in its multidimensional aspect. We report the initial stage of the development and validation of the Failures Proneness questionnaire (FP): a brief, multifaceted, self-report scale of common behavioral failures in everyday settings. In a preliminary phase we conceived an extensive pool of prospective items. Study 1 identified and validated the factor-structure of FP and reduced the scale to a brief measure of 16 items. Study 2 corroborated the factor structure of the FP and evaluated its construct validity by assessing its relationship with the Five Factor Model (FFM) of personality traits. Study 3 tested the criterion-related validity of the FP by assessing its ability to predict deviant behaviors. These studies provide evidence of the FP’s performance in generating valuable information on a broad range of behavioral antecedents of accidents.
... The results showed that there are significant relationships between psychosocial conditions and cognitive complaints [12]. Day et al. also concluded that psychological stress could increase cognitive failures and accident occurrences at the workplaces [13]. Another important agent affecting cognitive performance is the individual differences such as personal properties and biological agents [14]. ...
... Previous studies have investigated the effect of cognitive failures on accident proneness. For example, Andrea et al. concluded that distressed individuals tend to commit more cognitive failure, in turn, more occupational accidents [13]. In the present study, an inverse relationship was also found between accident proneness and cognitive failure. ...
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Background Various agents such as psychosocial items and accident proneness can affect cognitive failures through different paths. The probable paths are the direct effects of workplace psychosocial items on cognitive failures and their indirect effects on cognitive failures through the mediator variable of accident proneness, which has not yet been studied by others. Thus, the present study aimed to investigate these paths. Methods This cross-sectional study was conducted on 164 male employees of Karoon Sugar Company in 2018. The participants were asked to complete a background and demographic questionnaire, Broadbent cognitive failures scale, accident proneness questionnaire, and Copenhagen psychosocial questionnaire. Obtained data were analyzed and modeled using the statistical descriptive method, ANOVA, independent t-test, Pearson correlation test, and path analysis in the SPSS and AMOS software. Results The results of the path analysis showed that, not only, some psychosocial risk items had a significant direct effect on cognitive failures, but also, they could affect cognitive failures through the accident proneness, indirectly. Work-family conflict and social support from supervisors by coefficients of 0.188 and – 0.187 had the highest direct effects, respectively. The highest indirect effects belonged to justice and respect, and work-family conflict by coefficients of - 0.220 and 0.199, respectively. The highest total effects were also related to the work-family conflict and justice and respect by coefficients of 0.387 and – 0.381, respectively. Conclusions In total, our results showed that some psychological items could, directly and indirectly, increase cognitive failure through accident proneness.
... Also, 62% of the accidents occurred in the daytime (6:00-18:00) and 38% at night (18:00-18:00). Previous studies are reporting that stress and fatigue factors, which we did not consider in our study, increased the risk of failing to determine the risk in terms of accident and being involved in an accident due to bad decisions (12,13). ...
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Aim: In the present study, the purpose was to investigate the effects of environmental and personal risk factors on accidents in the motor courier business, which expanded with the pandemic. Material and Method: A total of 227 patients who applied to the Emergency Department after motorcycle accidents between After Pandemic (AP) March 2020-March 2022 and Before Pandemic (BP) March 2018-March 2020 period were included in the study. Statistical differences were analyzed regarding the number of motorcycle accidents before and after the pandemic, the occupation of the patients, driving experiences, weather conditions, and the timing of the accident. Results: No statistically significant differences were detected between the mean age, gender distribution, occupational distribution, accident occurrence time, and duration of experience of the patients in motorcycle accidents admitted to the Emergency Department (p>0.05). Statistically significant differences were detected between the weekly working hours of the patients BP and AP (p
... These results are consistent with the results of the present study. The study results by Day et al. (2012) also showed that people whose general health is more at risk are those who experience more cognitive failures and are more likely to have accidents at work. According to Simpson et al. (2005) and Park and Kim (2013), one of the factors influencing the occurrence of accidents is the rate of cognitive failure. ...
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Human resources are the most important organizational resources and play the most important role in the production and productivity cycle. Considering the importance of people's health and the study of their burnout as a possible cause of occupational cognitive failures, this study aimed to investigate the relationship between burnout, cognitive failure, and general health. participants and procedure A cross-sectional-analytical study was conducted in Iran Tire Factory. The statistical population of this study was 302 personnel who were randomly selected. Data were collected by four valid questionnaires (demographic information , Maslach burnout, cognitive failure, and general health questionnaire). Then data were analyzed using SPSS software. results The results of the analysis revealed a significant and direct relationship between burnout and cognitive failure (p < .001), and a significant inverse relationship was found between cognitive failure and physical health (p = .022). The other results showed that emotional exhaustion and depersonalization dimensions are significantly associated with cognitive failure (p < .001, p = .016). conclusions According to the results of this study, burnout causes cog-nitive failures among factory personnel and on the other hand, cognitive failures affect the physical health of individuals and lead to deterioration of physical health, which in turn can reduce a person's performance and reduce work efficiency. key words emotional exhaustion; cognitive failure; general health; job burnout
... The prevalence and relative stability of these two symptoms have important implications for overall health and functioning. Both insomnia and cognitive failures (as measured by the CFQ) have been associated with workplace (Daley et al., 2009;Day et al., 2012) and traffic (Allahyari et al., 2008;Leger et al., 2014) accidents. Research has also demonstrated a direct relationship of insomnia on impaired workplace functioning, including greater absenteeism and presenteeism (Brossoit et al., 2019). ...
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Background Insomnia and cognitive impairment are both common conditions experienced by people diagnosed with cancer. Individually, these conditions have negative impacts on functioning, but the combined burden has yet to be evaluated. The purpose of this research was to estimate rates of comorbid insomnia and perceived cognitive impairments, examine the longitudinal associations between these two conditions, and identify demographic and clinical factors associated with reporting both insomnia and perceived cognitive impairment. Methods In this secondary analysis, a heterogeneous sample of 962 patients completed the Insomnia Severity Index (ISI) and the Cognitive Failures Questionnaire (CFQ) at the time of their cancer surgery (baseline; T1) and then again at 2 (T2), 6 (T3), 10 (T4), 14 (T5), and 18 (T6) months. Correlations and partial correlations, controlling for age and education level, were computed at each time point to assess the relationship between ISI and CFQ scores. Cross-lagged correlations assessed associations between ISI and CFQ scores over time. Proportions of patients with comorbid insomnia and cognitive impairments were calculated and logistic regressions investigated changes over time in these proportions. ANOVAs, logistic regressions, ordinal regressions, and multinomial regressions were used to identify risk factors of having comorbid insomnia and cognitive difficulties. Results Significant and bidirectional correlations between ISI and CFQ scores were observed at each time point and over time. The proportion of patients having both clinical levels of insomnia and perceived cognitive difficulties ranged from 18.73 to 25.84% across time points and this proportion was significantly greater at T1 and T2 than T4, T5, and T6. Participants who reported comorbid insomnia and cognitive impairment were more likely to be younger, female, not currently working, currently receiving chemotherapy, with clinical levels depression and anxiety, and using antidepressants or anxiolytics. Conclusion Comorbid insomnia and perceived cognitive impairment affects around one in five patients and is more frequent at the beginning of the cancer care trajectory. The relationship between insomnia and cognitive impairment appears to be bidirectional. Insomnia may represent an important patient level vulnerability that when identified and treated can improve perception of cognitive function.
... Cognitive failure also relates to making a mistake or error in the performance of an action that otherwise a person is fully capable of accomplishing (Wallace & Vodanovich, 2003;Wallace et al., 2004). Cognitive failure has been linked to the act of losing things in public places, unsafe workplace behavior, workplace accidents, traffic accidents, sports and recreational injuries, and poor workplace performance (Day et al., 2012;Klumb, 1995;Wallace & Vodanovich, 2003). According to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) study conducted from 2005 to 2007, which included more than 2 million crashes, more than 94 percent of crashes resulted from human error (Singh, 2015). ...
Article
Distracted driving is a major safety concern. This paper explores the role personality traits and self-reported cognitive failures play in the propensity towards distracted driving behavior (DDB) among young adults in the United States. Two independent time-separated studies (study 1 with 522 participants; study 2 with 314 participants) confirm the role of cognitive failures as a mediator between specific personality traits and DDB propensity among young adult drivers. The results of this study suggest drivers’ personality traits such as extraversion, conscientiousness, and neuroticism have a direct impact on DDB propensity. In addition, there is evidence that cognitive failure mediates the relationship between these three personality traits and DDB propensity. Lastly, based on the results, agreeableness moderates the relationship between cognitive failure and DDB propensity. Together, these findings suggest that personality traits should be considered in conjunction with driver’s cognitive failure in explaining DDB propensity. Future research using a combination of self-reported, naturalistic and simulation studies may provide additional insight into the relationships between personality traits, cognitive failures, and the propensity towards DDB.
... The high job stress and imbalance between individual capability and job demand reduce the person's cognitive performance and create cognitive failure. Therefore, individuals cannot decide and act correctly [35]. Chou et al. concluded that perceived occupational stress decreases the cortical activity of the prefrontal cortex [36]. ...
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Background Job stress and safety climate have been recognized as two crucial factors that can increase the risk of occupational accidents. This study was performed to determine the relationship between job stress and safety climate factors in the occurrence of accidents using the Bayesian network model. Methods This cross-sectional study was performed on 1530 male workers of Asaluyeh petrochemical company in Iran. The participants were asked to complete the questionnaires, including demographical information and accident history questionnaire, NIOSH generic job stress questionnaire, and Nordic safety climate questionnaire. Also, work experience and the accident history data were inquired from the petrochemical health unit. Finally, the relationships between the variables were investigated using the Bayesian network model. Results A high job stress condition could decrease the high safety climate from 53 to 37% and increase the accident occurrence from 72 to 94%. Moreover, a low safety climate condition could increase the accident occurrence from 72 to 93%. Also, the concurrent high job stress and low safety climate could raise the accident occurrence from 72 to 93%. Among the associations between the job stress factor and safety climate dimensions, the job stress and worker’s safety priority and risk non-acceptance (0.19) had the highest mean influence value. Conclusion The adverse effect of high job stress conditions on accident occurrence is twofold. It can directly increase the accident occurrence probability and in another way, it can indirectly increase the accident occurrence probability by causing the safety climate to go to a lower level.
... This result indicates that fatigue could be a negative resource to lower workers' level of engagement in safety participation and increase the adverse effect of occupational stressors on safety behaviour. This result aligns with earlier findings from the UK's Royal Navy, which demonstrated that cognitive failure mediated the link between stress and accidents [91]. Moreover, it was proven that workplace stress causes fatigue among workers, which negatively affects their safety behaviour [75]. ...
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This paper provides an examination of direct and mediated relationships among occupational stressors (responsibilities towards family and living environment), mental health (anxiety and depression), fatigue (physical and mental fatigue), and safety behaviour (safety compliance and safety participation). In this cross-sectional study, data were collected by means of a questionnaire among oil and gas workers (foreign employees working at a remote oil and gas field site located in Kuwait), during a two-month period (November–December 2018). Regression analyses (bivariate and hierarchical), carried out on 387 responses, were employed to test the links between occupational stressors, mental health, fatigue, and safety behaviour in the hypothesised model. The results provide support for the direct relationship in the model, in that both responsibilities towards family and living environment predicted safety behaviour participation. Further, the results provide partial support for the mediated relationships in the model, as mental health and fatigue were found to mediate the relationship of responsibilities towards family and living environment with safety participation behaviour. It is concluded that occupational stressors have a negative effect on safety behaviour, while mental health and fatigue can operate as risk factors. Given this, it is recommended that organisations need to enhance remote oil and gas workers’ safety behaviour by encouraging them to effectively balance their stress, mental health, and level of fatigue. This can be achieved by actions such as promoting spirituality, boosting workers’ resilience, providing recreational facilities and encouraging communications.
Article
Background: In nursing practice, cognitive failures can be evaluated as an essential indicator of the cognitive capacity of individuals. Objectives: This study aimed to determine the validity and reliability of the Persian version of the Workplace Cognitive Failures Scale (P-WCFS) among Iranian nurses and its relationship with personality traits. Methods: Data collection had two phases: 1) The P-WCFS prepared through a standard translation process. Then the content validity was evaluated by a panel of specialists. Reliability Cronbach's coefficient alpha obtained 0.91 from a pilot study. 2) For measuring neuroticism and conscientiousness used the Goldberg Personality Questionnaire. Exploratory and confirmatory factors analyzed in two separate parts of the sample (n = 351). SPSS (v 18) and STATA 14 performed for Statistical analysis. Spearman correlation and Pearson correlation coefficient used to measuring the convergence and examine the relationship between the subscales of the questionnaire. Results: Cronbach's alpha was 0.92, which showed a high level of reliability for this questionnaire. The three-factor model of WCFS was well-fitted. The reliability of all three sub-scales was a reasonable level. Cognitive failures and its subscales had negative and strong relationships with conscientiousness and neuroticism. The highest internal consistency was related to memory subscale, and all scales had a success rate of 100% . Conclusions: This study showed the P-WCFS has high reliability and validity and can be used in nursing society.
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Introduction: The growth of the European market for road-freight transport has recently led to important changes. The growing number of foreign pavilion drivers transiting in France, which plays a bridging role among European countries, has influenced the lives of truck drivers by increasing competition, pressure on day-to-day activities, and constraints related to delivery deadlines. Adding this new pressure to those inherent in the road-freight transport sector has raised concerns, especially ones linked to levels of perceived stress by truck drivers. Method: With safety concerns in mind, we devised a questionnaire aimed at understanding how French truck drivers and non-French truck drivers, passing through four highway rest areas in France perceive stress, organizational factors, mental health, and risky driving behaviors. A sample of 515 truck drivers took part in the survey (260 French nationals), 97.9% of whom were male. Results: The results of a structural equation model indicated that perceived stress can increase self-reported risky driving behaviors among truck drivers. Furthermore, organizational factors and mental health were closely linked to perceived stress. Finally, some differences were found between French and non-French truck drivers with respect to mind-wandering and mental health, and to perceive driving difficulties to overcome and driving skills. Practical Applications: Several recommendations based on the findings are provided to policymakers and organizations.
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In this article, we attempt to distinguish between the properties of moderator and mediator variables at a number of levels. First, we seek to make theorists and researchers aware of the importance of not using the terms moderator and mediator interchangeably by carefully elaborating, both conceptually and strategically, the many ways in which moderators and mediators differ. We then go beyond this largely pedagogical function and delineate the conceptual and strategic implications of making use of such distinctions with regard to a wide range of phenomena, including control and stress, attitudes, and personality traits. We also provide a specific compendium of analytic procedures appropriate for making the most effective use of the moderator and mediator distinction, both separately and in terms of a broader causal system that includes both moderators and mediators. (46 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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The purpose of this article is to describe statistical procedures to assess how prevention and intervention programs achieve their effects. The analyses require the measurement of intervening or mediating variables hypothesized to represent the causal mechanism by which the prevention program achieves its effects. Methods to estimate mediation are illustrated in the evaluation of a health promotion program designed to reduce dietary cholesterol and a school-based drug prevention program. The methods are relatively easy to apply and the information gained from such analyses should add to our understanding of prevention.
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Unlabelled: The Cognitive Failures Questionnaire (CFQ) is used in ergonomics research to measure behavioural problems associated with attentiveness and memory in everyday life. CFQ scores have been related to constructs such as accident proneness and outcomes such as human error and psychological strain. The two-year test-retest reliability of the CFQ is reported together with the findings of factor analyses of CFQ data from 535 respondents. Evidence for the predictive and criterion validity and internal reliability of the CFQ is provided. Psychological strain was measured concurrently with CFQ on both testing occasions, two years apart. The test-retest reliability of the summated CFQ score was found to be 0.71, while for the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) strain measure it was 0.32.The relative variance stability was five times greater for the CFQ than the GHQ, indicating that scores on these questionnaires are not covariates. The use of the CFQ as a measure of cognitive control capacity is also discussed. Practitioner summary: Ergonomists have long been interested in human error and the role of high work demands due to poor equipment design and excessive workload. The CFQ measures attentiveness in daily life and is shown to have excellent psychometric properties that make it suitable for use in both laboratory and field studies as a trait measure of attentiveness in daily life.
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Professional burnout is a stress-related disorder, having mental exhaustion due to work stress as its most important characteristic. Burned out individuals also often complain about attentional problems. However, it is currently not clear whether such complaints are based on true cognitive deficits or whether they merely reflect the way burned out individuals rate their own cognitive performance. To confirm the cognitive complaints we used a cognitive failure questionnaire (CFQ) to assess the level of self-reported attentional difficulties in daily life. We also measured performance on tasks of sustained attention and response inhibition (the SART and the Bourdon-Wiersma Test). We compared three groups: (1) a group of ‘burned out’ individuals (n=13) who stopped working due to their symptoms and sought professional treatment; (2) teachers at a vocational training institute (n=16) who reported high levels of burnout symptoms but continued to work; and (3) teachers from the same institute (n=14) who reported no burnout symptoms. The level of burnout symptoms was found to be significantly related to the number of cognitive failures in daily life, and to inhibition errors and performance variability in the attentional tasks. To our knowledge, explicit tests of objective cognitive deficits in burned out individuals have not been conducted before. Consequently, this is the first study to indicate that burnout is associated with difficulties in voluntary control over attention and that the level of such difficulties varies with the severity of burnout symptoms.
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When faced with a human error problem, you may be tempted to ask 'Why didn't they watch out better? How could they not have noticed?'. You think you can solve your human error problem by telling people to be more careful, by reprimanding the miscreants, by issuing a new rule or procedure. These are all expressions of 'The Bad Apple Theory', where you believe your system is basically safe if it were not for those few unreliable people in it. This old view of human error is increasingly outdated and will lead you nowhere. The new view, in contrast, understands that a human error problem is actually an organizational problem. Finding a 'human error' by any other name, or by any other human, is only the beginning of your journey, not a convenient conclusion. The new view recognizes that systems are inherent trade-offs between safety and other pressures (for example: production). People need to create safety through practice, at all levels of an organization. Breaking new ground beyond its successful predecessor, The Field Guide to Understanding Human Error guides you through the traps and misconceptions of the old view. It explains how to avoid the hindsight bias, to zoom out from the people closest in time and place to the mishap, and resist the temptation of counterfactual reasoning and judgmental language. But it also helps you look forward. It suggests how to apply the new view in building your safety department, handling questions about accountability, and constructing meaningful countermeasures. It even helps you in getting your organization to adopt the new view and improve its learning from failure. So if you are faced by a human error problem, abandon the fallacy of a quick fix. Read this book.
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In general, executive function can be thought of as the set of abilities required to effortfully guide behavior toward a goal, especially in nonroutine situations. Psychologists are interested in expanding the understanding of executive function because it is thought to be a key process in intelligent behavior, it is compromised in a variety of psychiatric and neurological disorders, it varies across the life span, and it affects performance in complicated environments, such as the cockpits of advanced aircraft. This article provides a brief introduction to the concept of executive function and discusses how it is assessed and the conditions under which it is compromised. A short overview of the diverse theoretical viewpoints regarding its psychological and biological underpinnings is also provided. The article concludes with a consideration of how a multilevel approach may provide a more integrated account of executive function than has been previously available.
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Accidents, by their nature, are sudden events that may cause physical and emotional damage. There are usually several reasons for accidents. In general, the causes of accidents at work may be divided into two. First, unsafe conditions; second, attitudes to the work that cannot be guaranteed. It is the second cause that shows that in spite of good working conditions personal characteristics are very important factors in work accidents. This research examines the effect of personal factors on work accidents in a safe work place where 1200 workers work. Our experimental group of research participants were 50 injured workers who came to the infirmary in May—June 2000. The participants' demographic properties were determined with the help of a questionnaire, then they were given the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ), a Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI), the Benton Visual Retention Test, the Brief Fatigue Inventory (BFI). A control group was formed from 150 randomly chosen workers who worked at the same place. The same tests were administered to the control group with a one to one interview technique. At the end of the evaluations it was found the injured experimental group participants had lower scores in Benton's test, higher scores in the EPQ questions on neuroticism and 24 h general tiredness. Differences between the experimental and control groups were statistically significant ( p<0.05). There were no significant differences for other variables ( p>0.05). As a result, we believe work entrance health examinations should be given more importance for those work places which have a high risk of accidents. Work entrance must depend on evaluation of the personal characteristics of workers.