Capabilities | Sources of Power

Sources of Power

Gary Klein's journey began over 20 years ago when he started a company, Klein Associates Inc., and began to carve a new path in the study of human decision making. Dr. Klein and other researchers created Naturalistic Decision Making, a paradigm that examines the interplay of context and cognition together. Sources of Power, a chronicle of Klein's work, is a rich information source that explores Naturalistic Decision Making in depth and illuminates the power of experience, a power that shapes how we interact with the world around us.

Reviews of Sources of Power:

Thomas Petzinger, The Wall Street Journal, review of Sources of Power, 1998. "Most studies of decision making treat humans like rats in a laboratory. But Dr. Klein, a cognitive psychologist, spent a decade watching fire commanders, fighter pilots, paramedics, and others making split-second decisions on the job, and this book is a clear and engaging account of his findings."

Richard I. Cook MD, Focus on Patient Safety, review of Sources of Power, 1998. "With his colleagues, Klein has spent the past two decades observing people doing mental work in order to discover how they cope with demands of the workplace. What are the processes of decision making? How do people deal with uncertainty and risk? How is it that experts are able to discern subtle cues and do just the right thing in situations where novices fail? Sources of Power is a marvelous summation of Klein's long experience. It may also be the most readable and coherent description of what is presently known about how human cognition works in the real world."

"Point by point, chapter by chapter, Klein demolishes our common sense understandings of how people see and act in the real world. While doing so, he offers us a new vision of cognition, one that is both more interesting and, ultimately, one that is more useful. Organized around accounts of his research projects, the book systematically undoes almost every commonly held view of human decision making as it explains the sources of human cognitive power. This is disturbing and provocative. It is also quite wonderful because it addresses directly the kinds of issues that determine how patient safety is created and sustained."

Told F. G. Hoffman USMCR, Marine Corps Gazette, review of Sources of Power, 1999. "At the Battle of the Nile, a British fleet approached the French fleet anchored in Aboukir Bay. Nelson quickly took in the situation and attacked without stopping. Southey, one of the earliest biographers, noted that the 'intuitive genius with which Nelson was endowed displayed itself.' Sources of Power is a book that seeks to explain this intuitive genius. It people make decisions and solve problems under natural conditions. Dr. Klein's book suggests we will get more return on investment on resources spent to significantly improve the training of our commanders and Marines for the "three block war" than in buying more systems and communications gear. Sources of Power...should be promptly examined by all formal school directors and educators to help construct the necessary changes in our professional military educational programs to ensure that Marines in the future bring their own 'intuitive genius' to bear."

Valerie M. Chase, Nature, review of Sources of Power, 1998.
"Sources of Power examines how experts make decisions in real-world environments where time is short and stakes are high. Klein has amassed an impressive quantity and range of evidence that erodes the myth of the expert decision-maker who behaves according to classical rational models, and he suggests that traditional definitions of both rationality and expertise need to be re-examined."

Patrick Tissington, Applied Cognitive Psychology, review of Sources of Power, 1998. "This could be a textbook for managers, emergency service personnel, or the military but it is more than that. It has relevance to decision-making researchers...while being written in such a compelling way that you are drawn into the subject like a whodunit ..."


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