The Cognitive Science of Spreadsheet Errors: Why Thinking is Bad

  title={The Cognitive Science of Spreadsheet Errors: Why Thinking is Bad},
  author={Raymond R. Panko},
  journal={2013 46th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences},
  • R. Panko
  • Published 7 January 2013
  • Biology
  • 2013 46th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences
Research has long shown that spreadsheet developers are 96% to 99% accurate when they enter information into spreadsheet cells. For large spreadsheets, unfortunately, a cell error rate of 1% to 6% will almost certainly lead to incorrect results. Can cell error rates (CERs) really be this high? General human error research has shown that when humans do simple but nontrivial cognitive tasks, they inevitably have comparable error rates. The problem is that human cognitive mechanisms have evolved… 

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