Volume: 5 | Issue: 5

The Impact of Styles of Thinking and Cognitive Bias on How People Assess Risk and Make Real-World Decisions in Oil and Gas Operations


Awareness of the psychological realities of different styles of thinking can provide deep understanding of the choices people make and the actions they take when they are faced with assessing risk and making decisions in real time under operational conditions. At a time when the industry is striving to achieve more with fewer staff and resources, there is a compelling need to understand better how these psychological processes actually influence real-world operations, and to develop practical approaches to mitigating the associated risks.

While there have been previous attempts to apply this area of knowledge to the analysis of real-world incidents and to develop operational interventions, such attempts have been limited to date, and have lacked the necessary research evidence. Written from a psychological perspective, the purpose of this paper is to illustrate how such knowledge can be operationalized and used to gain deeper understanding of the nature of human error in real-world oil and gas operations.

SPE paper 179197-PA