Originally posted on July 20, 2022 @ 2:35 PM
Editors Note: They’ve also gotten it very wrong before, see: The Complacency Delusion
There’s no doubt about it. When Safety doesn’t know something it just makes stuff up (https://safetyrisk.net/when-safety-doesnt-know-just-make-st-up/ ). And Safety is so good at it. Experts in spruiking complete gobbledygook (https://safetyrisk.net/zero-vision-creates-mindless-gobbledygook/ ; https://safetyrisk.net/zero-discourse-as-gobbledygook/ ) and speaking nonsense to people (https://safetyrisk.net/believe-the-impossible-and-speak-nonsense-to-people/; https://safetyrisk.net/spin-nonsense-language-and-propaganda-in-safety/ ).
I was sent this one today: ASSP Killing Complacency
and what a cracker. Yep, when you want to know about the social psychology of risk, just ask Safety.
So, let’s start with a few ‘clangers’:
1. ‘Complacency is something humans deal with every day when we stop paying attention to the present’
Oh nope. Complacency is the lazy Safety name for a most complex and efficient way of decision making. Complacency is pejorative name Safety gives to the normal exercise of heuristics, habit and the unconscious. Complacency is the way we learn not to think about what we do and undertake tasks unconsciously. Unconscious decision making is the foundation of 95% of all we do that makes fallible humans fast and efficient and, most of the time it keeps us safe.
Of course, Safety never speaks of the unconscious, one of many Cultural Silences in Safety (https://safetyrisk.net/category/safety-culture-silences/ ).
What is this nonsense about ‘paying attention’? How is this turned on and off? What happens when Safety talks about having ‘attention’? Funny, Safety never defines this but loves to use waffle language to say nothing about the human condition. One can’t discuss very notion of ‘paying attention’ without a complex understanding of the psychology of motivation, the psychology of goals, perception, vision, concentration, collective unconscious, fallibility, learning and the phenomenology of being. More silences in the industry of safety.
2. ‘When a task becomes routine or can be completed by rote muscle memory, distractions are often a welcome escape from the monotony’.
This is NOT how human cognition works. This is not how the human mind and Mind work (https://safetyrisk.net/one-brain-three-minds/ ). Without a sophisticated understanding human psychology this kind of simplistic stuff is dangerous. The language of ‘distractions’ simply shows no understanding of the neuroscience and neuropsychology of cognition.
3. ‘Complacency or distractions are often cited as causes of workplace incidents, but what if they are one and the same?’
Ah, No again. More simplistic Safety speak to give names to processes of cognition one doesn’t understand.
4. ‘From a leadership perspective, it can be easy to forget that a workforce is primarily engaged by a pay-check and not passion’.
Ah, No. The research indicates the opposite and any research in the psychology of learning, motivation and goals demonstrates this. Hey, but why undertake research when good olde made up safety mythology will do.
Passion, purpose and ethical meaning are the primary motivators of workers NOT money. When your worldview is Behaviourism, you get the world you want to see, but it’s NOT real.
5. ‘Frontline leaders should learn how to create goals for individual workers to give them a focus and something to strive for, and individualize their contribution to the organizational goals by developing a plan for them to participate’.
Nope, this is not how goals work. Perhaps try reading Grant and Moskowitz to help dispel such a useless Behaviourist notion of goal setting. More so, this patronizing approach to workers alienates workers from the dynamics of motivation, ownership and purpose. Well done Safety!
6. ‘While it is widely recognized that monetary rewards are the primary motivating factor for most people, group and individual recognition can have a substantial impact on engagement’.
More Behaviourism that doesn’t work. Workers and their purpose is not the sum of inputs and outputs. The myth of Behaviourism comes out as does the nonsense language of ‘incentivization’, a Behaviourist favourite. The 1930s theory that Safety loves so much, has been blasted out of the water so many times but hey, let’s go back to the fiction of Heinrich (https://safetyrisk.net/hoodwinked-by-heinrich/ ), Skinner, Watson and Pavlov and imagine what we want about how humans make decisions.
7. Completing the same tasks day after day will lead to routine and eventually complacency.
Ah, no! Complacency is not the natural outcome of routine or habit. Indeed, the pejorative language of ‘complacency’ here completely distorts and demonizes repetition and the fallible human. Again, simplistic behaviourist stuff based on fiction just like we read how Safety knows everything about neuropsychology (https://safetyrisk.net/behaviourist-neuroscience-as-safety/; https://safetyrisk.net/safety-and-non-neuroscience/ ). If you read the last blog in the link you will see a list of all the books and research Safety doesn’t read in its quest to control hazards.
I think perhaps 7 completely false and wrong assertions will do for one blog but hey why would I think the ASSP would want to be professional. They don’t want to be professional, they just want to talk about it.