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The Logic Of Failure

Recognizing And Avoiding Error In Complex Situations

Dietrich Dorner


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Why do we make mistakes? Are there certain errors common to failure, whether in a complex enterprise or daily life? In this truly indispensable book, Dietrich Derner identifies what he calls the "logic of failure" -- certain tendencies in our patterns of thought that, while appropriate to an older, simpler world, prove disastrous for the complex world we live in now. Working with imaginative and often hilarious computer simulations, he analyzes the roots of catastrophe, showing city planners in the very act of creating gridlock and disaster, or public health authorities setting the scene for starvation. The Logic of Failure is a compass for intelligent planning and decision-making that can sharpen the skills of managers, policymakers and everyone involved in the daily challenge of getting from point A to point B.

Basic Books, 9780201479485, 240pp.

Publication Date: August 4, 1997

About the Author

Dietrich Dörner is professor of psychology at the University of Bamberg, an authority on cognitive behavior, and winner of the Leibniz Prize, Germany's highest science award.