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Incompetent And Unaware: We Don't Know What We Don't Know...

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by GLOC, Apr 28, 2016.

  1. GLOC

    GLOC Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Malmesbury, UK
    I have just posted an article entitled "Incompetent and unaware: We don't know what we don't know...". It follows a presentation I gave at TekDiveUSA this weekend and a number of requests to summarise it for those who weren't there as the themes and issues identified are common to all divers, irrespective of age, experience or agency!

    Article - Incompetent and Unaware: We Don’t Know What We Don’t Know - ScubaBoard

    There are a number of resources posted at the end of the article to help improve diving safety and personal performance, but before any of that can happen, there is a need to recognise our own shortcomings!! This is very hard to do in a reflective manner, and therefore it normally requires external input, be that an honest buddy or teammate or a class specifically designed to challenge your own biases and create new ways of thinking about team and communications; links to the classes I run are at the bottom of the article.

    In terms of the classes themselves, I have had some very prominent divers in the industry undertake the class including IANTD ITT Phil Short, IANTD IT Tim Clements, GUE Technical Training Director Rich Walker, GUE IT John Kendall, TDI Director, Training Jon Kieren and TDI Director, Product Development Lauren Kieren and AAUS President Rick Gomez, ITT for SSI XR Cat Braun along with 12 others divers ranging from Divemaster level through to Recreational Instructors who are also commercial training captains. All have said that it is something that should be part of their instructor development programs.

    Some links to reviews here and here from this weekend's class.

    "I found this course and the content extremely interesting and useful for myself as a diver, as an instructor and instructor trainer, and other areas and activities in my life. I am looking forward to applying and practicing what I have learned, and possibly some day attending a more in depth and advanced course." - Josh Thornton, Sub-Gravity

    "I originally signed up for this course with professional development in mind. Little did I know, it would be more of a personal development training program. It is very easy to assume how we will (or how someone else should) preform in adverse situations in an environment we are comfortable in. This training program put the team in an unknown environment (simulated space travel with missions to complete) that no one had experience in to draw from which took us out of our comfort zone, allowing us to see how each of us will preform. This process gave me the feeling of stepping out of my own skin to take a look at myself and my actions from an outside perspective."
    - Lauren Keiren, TDI​

    There is a discount code for the online course for SB'ers which is valid until 31 Jul 16 (not 31 May as per the article) which you will find at the bottom of the article.

    If you sign up for the online class, you will have continued access to the materials, even when they are updated (I strive for continual improvement so they will be!). So pay once, get multiple classes.

    If you sign up for the classroom-based class, you get the online class free plus a bunch of tangible deliverables which will make your diving safer and more enjoyable.

    I will be running at least two classes in September (over the period 15-21 Sep) in the Rhode Island area and likely something in November/December in the Denver area to tie up with some other training planned. I am also planning on running at least two classes around Inner Space 2017. If you sign up to the newsletter here, you will be notified of classes as they are added to the calendar.

    Any questions, just ask!

  2. REVAN

    REVAN Manta Ray

    Good article! As I've gotten older, I think I'm not as smart as I used to be, like I've lost knowledge. Maybe this is just an effect of my perceived knowledge getting more accurate (regarding the Dunning & Kruger tests). I'm not a know-it-all young invincible any more. This is why I like to keep my diving simple these days. No more deep tech diving for me. The risk to reward isn't there for me. Too many ways to have a bad dive.
  3. ljpm

    ljpm Barracuda

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Ottawa, Canada
    I remember when Dunning and Kruger first published their article.

    David Dunning of Cornell University and Justin Kruger of the University of Illinois, for their modest report, "Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One's Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments." [Published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, vol. 77, no. 6, December 1999, pp. 1121-34.]

    They won the IgNobel award in 2000, probably more on the title than the actual substance of their article. I'm glad they have expanded the work.
    Kain Harvey and GLOC like this.
  4. GLOC

    GLOC Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Malmesbury, UK
    Thanks. That paper was the one I cited in the presentation. It is my own work looking at the role of human factors in diving incidents and human performance that led to the presentation I gave at TekDiveUSA.

    Personally, I think it is a really useful paper to show how little we know about our own skills and knowledge. This paper, which I referred to in the presentation, shows that teams are less likely to miss something than individuals when they are tasked loaded. Therefore good teamwork can help prevent an incident from occurring, not just there to help bail someone out of the poo!


  5. DivemasterDennis

    DivemasterDennis DivemasterDennis ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Lakewood, Colorado
    A great argument for being an active diver, for continuing your dive education, and for preparing properly for each dive. Even though new divers may have limited skills, hopefully they have good habits to build on. Too many divers get lazy after a time in things like dive planning, predive checks, and the like. Be active, continue your diving education, expand your skills, and there is still more to learn. Isn't diving grand? There is always something new.
    GLOC likes this.
  6. Rilelen

    Rilelen Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Ohio
    This is great, thanks for sharing! I'll definitely be looking over this in more detail.

    On a side note - as a social psychologist, makes my heart happy to see research (e.g., Dunning & Kruger, 1999) making its way out there and potentially actually being useful for people. Doesn't happy enough and great to see!
    northernone and GLOC like this.
  7. GLOC

    GLOC Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Malmesbury, UK
    TekDiveUSA was great in terms of raising the awareness of the courses I ran given the great feedback I had.

    So much so, I now have 17 courses scheduled in the next 12 months! There are now six courses scheduled in the US, two (here and here) are based around the American Academy of Underwater Science annual conference at the Rhode Island University in September where I am planning to present two workshops on Human Factors Skills in Diving, I have two courses scheduled in December, the first is 3 & 4 December in Seattle and the second is already full, then two more in Jan/Feb next year, this time cave country (details TBC) and Orlando. The dates in Seattle are linked to training with the National Park Service SRC and hopefully working with another US government department at that time too.

    Some great feedback from the class.

    “Truly two of the most productive days I have had in regards to personal and professional development. The best part about the training is Gareth provides students with the tools to take what has been discussed in the course and implement it in our own courses and dive teams.”
    Jon Kieren, Training Director, TDI/SDI/ERDI

    and this was received after I sent one of the coaching follow-up emails which are key to the course

    “Implementing the debriefing structure we learned in our Human Factors course proved invaluable as everyone in the team felt comfortable providing both critical and positive feedback for everyone (including the instructors) in the team. The goal shifted from the typical “do the skills well to pass the course” to “do the skills well to better support the team”, and it was a lot of fun to watch.”

    After the courses already programmed, I won't likely be back in the US until after the summer of 2017. Only 6 places per course, and allocated on a first come, first served basis.

    If you want to know more about the courses, drop me a line, or visit the website. I have a 100% refund guarantee if you are not happy with the courses (yet to be needed!) and the key word in all of the debriefs has been 'insightful'.


  8. urbaneve71

    urbaneve71 ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Gulf Coast
    It is an excellent article and study. I do agree with most of the article -- but just a few points.

    Right after the video you ask the inevitable question of "what if...?" I for one, do not believe in "what if's. See -- thats the problem. there is no what if.. the simple matter of the fact is he made it through. we can hypothesize all we want on what ifs. They can go a million different directions and those can be debated a million more.

    Lets take another example -- I work in a casino. Table games to more to the point so I understand what if's undeniably. I hear it everyday. What if I bet that... what if I rolled that number. etc. My point being --- it didn't happen, period. The past has already past, the present has just become the past and the future has just become the present.

    While I agree with the term complacency, I also think divers get a bit of arrogance associated with themselves also. But overall, a very excellent article. Thank you
    bowlofpetunias and GLOC like this.
  9. GLOC

    GLOC Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Malmesbury, UK
    Thank you for the feedback. The points made are very valid.

    My point regarding the 'what if' wasn't clear then - sorry. What I was trying to show was that we are very much outcome biased. If we see a negative outcome, we are more likely to make a negative judgement and depending on whether it was people or technology involved, we are more likely to attribute the blame to the system or the people involved...

    So when a diving accident happens for 'very obvious reasons' we are more likely to jump to the conclusion that the person involved would have seen it. See the recent Wes Skiles case...however, how many similar dives occur like that and nothing adverse happens. Do we have the same 'negative' view of what happened there?In fact, this is what lead to my writing this blog about complacency.

    Arrogance is one way of hiding overconfidence...

    Once again, thanks.
    urbaneve71 likes this.
  10. Rich Keller

    Rich Keller Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Long Island NY
    Outstanding! This should be a part of any advanced course!

    The only problem that I see is that most of the people I talk to here are positive that they already know everything there is to know about diving.
    EireDiver606, billt4sf and GLOC like this.

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