CSC 395 (Fall 2021)

Lab: Slips and Mistakes

Hidden Ontologies

In the reading, Norman classifies errors into two broad categories: slips and mistakes. In this problem, we’ll explore these categories in more detail. Review the categories with your group and answer the following questions:

  1. Recall the seven stage action cycle introduced by Norman that describes how people take action to solve their problems. How do the categories of slips and mistakes fit within the action cycle?
  2. What are the different kinds of slips that can occur and when do they occur? For each kind of slip, give a concrete example in the domain of programming where this slip occurs.
  3. What are the different kinds of mistakes that can occur and when they occur? For each kind of mistake, give a concrete example in the domain of programming where this slip occurs.

Un Error De Los Grades

With your group, discuss and write responses to the following reflection questions about errors and programming. Your responses should summarize your discussion and be roughly a paragraph or two in length each.

  1. When we think of conventional “programming errors”, are we talking about slips or mistakes in the terminology of Norman? Among the kinds of slips or mistakes that you identified in the previous questions, which kind is the most prevalent in programming in your opinion?
  2. Are there any kinds of slips or mistakes that rarely occur or are non-issues in programming? If there are, identify them and explain why they are rare or non-existent. If not, take the rarest of these kinds and give a concrete example of them in programming.
  3. The reading mentions errors that arise due to “deliberate violations” and “social and institutional pressures”. Do either of these occur in programming? If so, give concrete examples. If not, explain why.