Ferner and Aronson used cognitive psychology to classification medication errors. This classification can be used in other domains as well.


An error is a failure to perform an intended action.


A mistake is an error in planning an action.


Slips and lapses are skill-based errors where there is failure to execute a suitable plan.


Types of mistakes:

(1) knowledge-based error

(2) use of a bad rule

(3) misuse of a good rule (not applied or misapplied)


Types of slips (action-based error)

(1) technical error (imperfect execution of an action)

(2) other


A lapse is a memory-based error where the person has been trained but forgets or fails to recall.


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