Red X iconGreen tick iconYellow tick icon

 Associate Professor David O'Hare

Tel 64 3 479 7643
Visit Professor O'Hare's profile

Cognitive Ergonomics and Human Decision Making

In most complex technological systems human error accounts for approximately three out of four system failures. The role which human operators play in modern systems is typically one of supervisory controller, involving high level cognitive capacities such as diagnosis, planning, forecasting and deciding. Developing valid models of these processes presents a major challenge for applied psychologists.

My particular interest lies in research on human cognition and decision making and the application of this knowledge to the design of systems, procedures, and training programmes. Emphasis is on considerations of descriptive models, processes and characteristics of human decision making and human error; factors that affect decision making and cognition in naturalistic task settings; technologies for aiding human decision making; and training programmes for assisting or influencing human decision making.


Ford, J., Henderson, R., & O'Hare, D. Barriers to intra-aircraft communication and safety: The perspective of the flight attendants. International Journal of Aviation Psychology, 23(4), 368-387 (2013).

Hooper, B., & O'Hare, D. Exploring human error in military aviation flight safety events using post-incident classification systems. Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine, 84(7), 1-11. (2013).

Ford, J., O'Hare, D., & Henderson, R. Putting the 'We' into teamwork: Effects of priming personal or social identity on flight attendants' perceptions of teamwork and communication. Human Factors, 55(3), 499-508 (2013).

Loveday, T., Wiggins, M.W., Harris, J., Smith, N., & O'Hare, D. An objective approach to identifying diagnostic expertise amongst power system controllers. Human Factors, 55(1), 90-107 (2013).

Wiggins, M. W., Hunter, D., O'Hare, D., & Martinussen, M. Deliberate versus inadvertent visual flight into instrument meteorological conditions. Safety Science, 50(3), 472-477 (2012).

O'Hare, D., & Waite, A. Effects of pilot experience on recall of weather information from graphical weather displays. International Journal of Aviation Psychology, 22(1), 1-17 (2012).

Boyes, M.A., & O'Hare, D. Examining naturalistic decision making in outdoor adventure contexts by computer simulation. Australian Journal of Outdoor Education, 15(1), 22-34 (2011).

O'Hare, D., Hunter, D., Martinussen, M., Wiggins, M. Classification and prediction of pilot weather encounters: A discriminant function analysis. Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine, 82(5) 543-550 (2011),

Hunter, D., Martinussen, M., Wiggins, M., & O'Hare, D. Situational and personal characteristics associated with adverse weather encounters by pilots. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 43, 176-186 (2011).

O'Hare, D., Mullen, N., & Arnold, A. Enhancing aeronautical decision making through case-based reflection. International Journal of Aviation Psychology, 20(1), 48-58 (2010).

Pauley, K., O'Hare, D., & Wiggins, M. Measuring expertise in weather-related aeronautical risk perception: The validity of the Cochran-Weiss-Shanteau (CWS) index. International Journal of Aviation Psychology, 19(3), 201-216. (2009).

Plessner, H., Schweizer, G., Brand, R., & O'Hare, D. A multiple-cue learning approach as the basis for understanding and improving soccer referees' decision making. Progress in Brain Research, 174, 151-158. (2009).

O'Hare, D., & Stenhouse, N. Under the weather: An evaluation of different modes of presenting weather information for pilots. Applied Ergonomics, 40, 688-693 (2009).

Mascarenhas, R. D., Button, C., O'Hare, D., & Dicks, M. Physical performance and decision making in elite football referees: A naturalistic study. The Open Sports Sciences Journal, 2, 1-9 (2009).

O'Hare, D., & Stenhouse, N. Redesigning a graphical weather display for pilots. Ergonomics in Design, 16(4), 11-15 (2008).

Pauley, K., O'Hare, D., Mullen, N., & Wiggins, M. Implicit perceptions of risk and anxiety and pilot involvement in hazardous events. Human Factors, 50 (5), 723-733 (2008).

O'Hare, D., Mullen, N. Wiggins, M., & Molesworth, B. Finding the right case: The role of predictive features in memory for aviation accidents. Applied Cognitive Psychology 22, 1163-1180 (2008).

O'Hare, D., Mullen, N., & Rinaldi, M. Brief encounters: Enhancing the impact of accident and incident occurrence reports. International Journal of Aviation Psychology, 18(3), 225-236 (2008).

O'Brien, K., & O'Hare, D. Situational awareness ability and cognitive skills training in a complex real-world task. Ergonomics, 50 (7), 1064-1091 (2007).

Mascarenhas, D., O'Hare, D., & Plessner, H. (2006). The psychological and performance demands of association football refereeing. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 37, 99-120.

O'Hare, D., & Wiggins, M. (2004). Remembrance of cases past: Who remembers what, when confronting critical flight events? Human Factors, 46(2), 277-287.

O'Hare, D. (2002). Aeronautical decision making: Metaphors, models, and methods. In P. S. Tsang & M. A. Vidulich (Eds.), Principles and practice of aviation psychology 201-23).

Wiegmann, D. A., Goh, J., & O'Hare, D. (2002). The role of situation assessment and flight experience in pilots' decisions to continue visual flight rules flight into adverse weather. Human Factors, 44(2), 189-197.

O'Hare, D. (Ed.) (1999). Human performance in general aviation. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate.

Back to top