2% Flap full=98% Flap3, Framing effect, psychology

Flap 3 or full

If the airline wants their pilots to consistently perform FLAP 3 landings instead of Flap Full, then what should the policy read? As per my understanding, the policy should be:

Normal flaps for landing is Flap 3 but, at the discretion of the pilot in command, up-to a maximum of 2% landings can be performed with Flap Full

People tend to avoid risk when a positive frame is presented but seek risks when a negative frame is presented. Gain and loss are defined in the scenario as descriptions of outcomes (e.g., lives lost or saved, disease patients treated and not treated, etc.).

The framing effect is a cognitive bias where people decide on options based on whether the options are presented with positive or negative connotations; e.g. as a loss or as a gain.

Framing effect

Participants were asked to choose between two treatments for 600 people affected by a deadly disease.

This choice was presented to participants either with positive framing, i.e. how many people would live or with negative framing, i.e. how many people would die. 78% chose the first choice where there is an apparent saving of life even though the loss is the same.

Similar studies

This effect has been shown in other contexts:

  • 93% of PhD students registered early when a penalty fee for late registration was emphasized, with only 67% doing so when this was presented as a discount for earlier registration.
  • 62% of people disagreed with allowing “public condemnation of democracy”, but only 46% of people agreed that it was right to “forbid public condemnation of democracy”.
  • More people will support an economic policy if the employment rate is emphasised than when the associated unemployment rates are highlighted.

Processing speech acts (Policies & email’s)

The intended meaning of a sentence is not necessarily its literal meaning of the utterance. Imagine that a friend of your has walked into the porch and about to enter your house with muddy shoes. You say sarcastically,

“I hope you are going to wear those shoes in the house”

Clearly, your intended message goes beyond the literal meaning of the utterance, implying that your friend needs to remove his shoes before entering the house.

What do people remember about sentences like these? Do they remember the literal content or the implied content, or both? Researchers found that both may be remembered. Some studies have found that people skip computing the literal meaning because the context generates such a strong expectancy about the implied meaning.

mindFly analysis

The policies and SOP’s have to be very carefully drafted. There is a need for a buy in rather than impose the SOP’s. The stakeholders have to feel responsible and a part of the decision making process rather that perform the actions out of fear or retribution.

Policies which state for example ” do as I say and I will take care of you” could have a stronger implied meaning that “if you don’t do as I say then I can take punitive action too”.

Therefore the positive connotation and the implied meaning can have an impact on the cognitive aspects. When one is task overloaded or saturated, the brain is unable to differentiate and the negative connotation is mostly which is recalled first. Humans will take grater risk when dealing with the negative connotation.

There needs to be a buy in with the stakeholders before a policy is implemented. The stakeholders then feel responsible and valued. This will have a long term effect in terms of trust building and compliance.

About Capt. Amit Singh

I think therefore I am https://www.linkedin.com/in/traintofly/ Airlines Operations and Safety balance expert. A former head of operations/training and safety of successful LCC's in India. An experienced member of the startup teams of these airlines has hands-on experience in establishing airlines systems and processes.

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