Skip to main content Accessibility help
  • This chapter is unavailable for purchase
  • Cited by 4
  • Cited by
    This chapter has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    AYAKI, Masahiko KAGEYAMA, Toshiyuki NISHIHARA, Hitoshi KOIKE, Masanao ONISHI, Takeo and YAGUCHI, Shigeo 2005. Quantitative Evaluation of the Learning Process of Phacoemulsification by Senior and Junior Ophthalmologists. The Showa University Journal of Medical Sciences, Vol. 17, Issue. 2, p. 89.

    Larson, David B. and Nance, John J. 2011. Rethinking Peer Review: What Aviation Can Teach Radiology about Performance Improvement. Radiology, Vol. 259, Issue. 3, p. 626.

    Erlandsson, Mikael and Jansson, Anders 2013. Verbal reports and domain-specific knowledge: a comparison between collegial and retrospective verbalisation. Cognition, Technology & Work, Vol. 15, Issue. 3, p. 239.

    Larson, David B. Kruskal, Jonathan B. Krecke, Karl N. and Donnelly, Lane F. 2015. Key Concepts of Patient Safety in Radiology. RadioGraphics, Vol. 35, Issue. 6, p. 1677.

  • Print publication year: 1990
  • Online publication date: June 2012

3 - Performance levels and error types


The purpose of this chapter is to provide a conceptual framework–the generic error-modelling system (GEMS)–within which to locate the origins of the basic human error types. This structure is derived in large part from Rasmussen's skill-rule-knowledge classification of human performance (outlined in Chapter 2), and yields three basic error types:

skill-based slips (and lapses)

rule-based mistakes

knowledge-based mistakes

In particular, GEMS seeks to integrate two hitherto distinct areas of error research: (a) slips and lapses, in which actions deviate from current intention due to execution failures and/or storage failures (see Reason, 1979,1984a,b; Reason & Mycielska, 1982; Norman, 1981; Norman & Shallice, 1980); and (b) mistakes, in which the actions may run according to plan, but where the plan is inadequate to achieve its desired outcome (Simon, 1957, 1983; Wason & Johnson-Laird, 1972; Rasmussen & Jensen, 1974; Nisbett & Ross, 1980; Rouse, 1981; Hunt & Rouse, 1984; Kahneman, Slovic & Tversky, 1982; Evans, 1983).

The chapter begins by explaining why the simple slips/mistakes distinction (outlined in Chapter 1) is not sufficient to capture all of the basic error types. The evidence demands that mistakes be divided into at least two kinds: rulebased mistakes and knowledge-based mistakes. The three error types (skillbased slips and lapses, rule-based mistakes and knowledge-based mistakes) maybe differentiated by a variety of processing, representational and task-related factors, as discussed in Section 2.

Recommend this book

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this book to your organisation's collection.

Human Error
  • Online ISBN: 9781139062367
  • Book DOI:
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to *