This report detailed the results of an experimental study on the consistency and variance of the assessments of Environmental Health Officers (EHOs).
This research project investigated psychological factors that lead EHOs to make inconsistent judgements about catering outlets. It draws on research from the fields of ‘cognitive biases’ and ‘naturalistic decision making’ to understand decision making on food hygiene.
These are fields of study within psychology, and they examine how variations in decision-making arise from heuristics (rules and habits that influence decision-making) and cognitive bias (errors that arise from a heuristic being applied incorrectly).
Field experiments are generally considered to be the ‘gold standard’ method of investigating cognitive bias, and to investigate variance in decision-making by EHOs and the extent to which psychological factors explain this variance, decision-making on food hygiene was studied through a series of experiments