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Critical Incident Technique
Episode 1110th March 2023 • Human Factors Minute • Human Factors Cast
00:00:00 00:01:14

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...and now for another Human Factors Minute!

Critical incident technique (CIT) is a research method in which participants are asked to recall and describe a time when a behavior, action, or positive or negative occurrence impacted a specified outcome for example, the accomplishment of a given task.


The technique was developed by Flanagan and fellow psychologists from the US Aviation Psychology Program during the World War 2, and later by the American Institute for Research and the University of Pittsburgh.


The CIT has become popular in the social sciences and has found applications in human–computer interaction research, because it facilitates the gathering of many detailed behaviors or events.


These are useful in understanding critical requirements for roles, systems, and processes.


For example, the C-I-T has been used to highlight characteristics of successful personnel like nurses, doctors, air-traffic controllers, as well as critical requirements for training programs and user interfaces.


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