Complacency: a threat to homeland security?
Young Pecko, Paula L.
Gordon, Ellen M.
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This thesis presents an unconventional approach to addressing a threat to homeland security by focusing on complacency through the lens of human factors and complexity. This approach requires a paradigm shift. In addition to focusing on external threats from enemies who wish to do this nation harm, and building capabilities to prepare for disasters, it is also necessary to look internally to the behaviors, attitudes, and states of mind of people within homeland security organizations to optimize the success of this country’s efforts. This thesis draws from human factors science, folk science and folk psychology, complexity theory, homeland security doctrine, psychology and biology reference works, and applied research to develop a concept of complacency for the homeland security discipline. The hypothesis is that a clear definition may lead to actionable, observable measures to mitigate it. The research concludes that complacency is more commonly used as a proverbial threat than an actionable threat, but reveals a plethora of future research opportunities for a human-factors approach to addressing threats of this nature.
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