Approaches of aviation accident investigation in different cultural contexts from human factors perspectives

Wen Chin Li, Hong Tsu Young, Thomas Wang, Don Harris, Lon Wen Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There are some fundamental differences in reasoning, the organization of knowledge, causal inference, attention and perception between Eastern and Western cultures. Westerners are likely to overlook the influence of context on the behavior of objects and even of people, however Easterners are more susceptible to 'hindsight bias'; Westerners are more likely to apply formal logic when reasoning about events, but Easterners are more willing to entertain apparently contradictory propositions. The aim of this research is to establish if the different cognitive styles of European and Chinese accident investigators have an effect on the conclusions drawn when conducting an accident investigation. The results show that the cognitive orientation and skills of Eastern and Western cultures are sufficiently different but it seems highly likely that they can complement and enrich each other. Many problems relevant to accident investigation would be better served for having a mix of people from different cultures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-59
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Aeronautics Astronautics and Aviation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Accident investigation
  • Cross-cultural issues
  • Human errors
  • Human factors analysis and classification system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Aerospace Engineering


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