Focus Session: Cognitive Bias and Decision Making at Sea

Cognitive Bias and Decision Making at Sea

Every day each of us makes thousands of decisions.  Inevitably, some of these decisions will be bad.  Fortunately, most of our bad decisions have limited consequences, but for those in command of a ship at sea, the ramifications of a bad decision can mean the difference between life and death.  Compounding the problem, are our own brains are hardwired to deceive us.  Cognitive Bias and Decision Making at Sea will explore how we make decisions, discuss the unconscious biases that affect the decision making process, and how we can learn to make unbiased decisions to improve safety in our operations.

Presented by
Captain Chris Gasiorek


Chris Gasiorek, a native of Michigan, has been drawn to the water since his earliest days on the edge of the Great Lakes where he raced and cruised under sail and power.  Chris is a 1995 Graduate of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, and currently holds a USCG License as Unlimited Tonnage Master for Motor and Steam, 500 Ton Master of Auxiliary Sail, and Master of Towing.  After graduation Chris served as master, mate, and sometimes engineer aboard a diverse collection of vessels, ranging from bulk carriers in worldwide trade, record setting racing yachts, research ships, tugs, and sail training ships.    From 2007 to 2014 Chris held the position of Sailing Master and Director of Waterfront Operations and Training at the United States Merchant Marine Academy supervising the underway experiential education of the Academy’s students aboard sail and power training vessels.  In 2014 Chris returned to sea full time and currently serves as Master of an OSV in international service.  Chris lives in Mystic, Connecticut with his wife Tiffany and two spoiled cats.



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