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Hazardous Attitudes and Antidotes

in Human Factors

Hazardous attitudes, which contribute to poor pilot judgment, can be effectively counteracted by redirecting that hazardous attitude so that correct action can be taken. Recognition of hazardous thoughts is the first step toward neutralizing them.  After recognizing a thought as hazardous, the pilot should label it as hazardous, then state the corresponding antidote.  Antidotes should be memorized for each of the hazardous attitudes so they automatically come to mind when needed.  Each hazardous attitude along with its appropriate antidote is shown in Figure 1-14.

Figure 1-14. The Five Antidotes to Hazardous Attitudes.

Figure 1-14. The Five Antidotes to Hazardous Attitudes.

Research has identified five hazardous attitudes that can affect a pilot’s judgment, as well as antidotes for each of these five attitudes. ADM addresses the following:

  1. Anti-authority (“Don’t tell me!”). This attitude is found in pilots who do not like anyone telling them what to do. They may be resentful of having someone tell them what to do or may regard rules, regulations, and procedures as silly or unnecessary. However, there is always the prerogative to question authority if it is perceived to be in error.
  2. Impulsivity (“Do something quickly!”). This attitude is found in pilots who frequently feel the need to do something—anything—immediately. They do not stop to think about what they are about to do, they do not select the best course of action, and they do the first thing that comes to mind.
  3. Invulnerability (“It won’t happen to me!”). Many pilots feel that accidents happen to others, but never to them. They know accidents can happen, and they know that anyone can be affected. They never really feel or believe that they will be personally involved.  Pilots who think this way are more likely to take chances and increase risk.
  4. Macho (“I can do it!”). Pilots who are always trying to prove that they are better than anyone else are thinking, “I can do it—I’ll show them.” Pilots with this type of attitude will try to prove themselves by taking risks in order to impress others. This pattern is characteristic in both men and women.
  5. Resignation (“What’s the use?”). These pilots do not see themselves as being able to make a great deal of difference in what happens to them. When things go well, these pilots are apt to think it is due to good luck.  When things go badly, they may feel that someone is out to get them, or attribute it to bad luck. The pilot will leave the action to others, for better or worse.  Sometimes, they will even go along with unreasonable requests just to be a “nice guy.”


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