By John Burnham

Expertise calls for uniformity from people who come upon it. humans encountering know-how, despite the fact that, range from each other. Thinkers within the early 20th century, staring at the grim effects of interactions among people and machines—death by way of cars or dismemberment through manufacturing facility equipment, for example—developed the assumption of twist of fate proneness: the tendency of a selected individual to have extra injuries than most folks. In tracing this idea from its delivery to its disappearance on the finish of the 20 th century, coincidence companies bargains a special historical past of expertise centred no longer on ideas yet on their accidental consequences.Here, John C. Burnham indicates that because the laptop period stepped forward, the actual and fiscal influence of injuries coevolved with the increase of the assurance and tendencies in twentieth-century psychology. After global warfare I, psychologists made up our minds that a few everyone is extra coincidence companies than others. This designation signaled a shift in social process towards minimizing injuries through diverting specific humans clear of harmful environments. by means of the Nineteen Sixties and Nineteen Seventies, even if, the assumption of twist of fate proneness progressively declined, and engineers built new applied sciences to guard everyone, thereby introducing a hidden, yet radical, egalitarianism.            mendacity on the intersection of the heritage of expertise, the historical past of medication and psychology, and environmental background, twist of fate services is an formidable highbrow research of the delivery, development, and decline of an concept that might curiosity a person who needs to appreciate how Western societies have grappled with the human expenditures of contemporary existence. (20091217)

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Additional resources for Accident Prone: A History of Technology, Psychology, and Misfits of the Machine Age

Sample text

It remained for Farmer actually to introduce the English term “accident prone” so that it acquired a technical meaning. 85 All of these observations, and others to be noted below, suggest that the phenomenon and some idea of a category of a person who had repeated accidents was present in developed societies. The German origins of the term Unfallneigung, inclination to accident, are notable in confirming this impression and show how European thinkers were prepared for the idea of accident proneness when it appeared.

60 Further study of mental fatigue in fact suggested that it did not operate in the same way as did physiological fatigue. ” In the Anglo-American world, essentially the same subjects were classified as applied psychology. 62 Before Accident Proneness indi v idua l dif f er ences Meanwhile other psychologists had been developing a science of individual differences. It is not surprising, therefore, that the search for the causes of errors and accidents moved into a study of people who made errors and had accidents.

People, and especially psychologists, were thinking often in terms of individual differences that could 31 32 ch a p t er 1 be defined in terms of traits. They were also thinking in terms of personality, which was a persisting structure of habitual behaviors in which one could discern an individual’s traits. 73 Writing as early as 1919, the British psychologist Charles S. 75 While accidents were becoming a social problem, error also gained attention in psychological writings. Error in industrial production was of course a problem.

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