Dr. Michael J. Kane
Human Error by James Reason
My cognitive-psychology research seeks a scientific understanding of how and why people make mistakes during routine tasks (zoning out while reading; leaving an infant in an unattended car), and why some people screw up more than others. James Reason's "Human Error" isn't exactly a page-turner, but I deeply admire Reason's ability to synthesize laboratory-experimental and daily-diary research on absentmindness and forgetting with the sophisticated analysis of human error's contribution to major industrial disasters. Although Freud's "The Interpretation of Dreams" first brought me to psychology, Reason's book better embodies the kind of integrative, interesting, and important science to which I hope to contribute.