Bakgrunn og aktiviteter

Research areas

My research focus on safety, human factors, technological and organizational change processes.

Human factors use psychology to design products and create work environment that improves productivity and safety.

From a traditional perspective, safety has been defined in terms of absence of risk. However in recent years safety researchers have gathered around the notion that safety also includes the presence of organizational and human factors that enable the management of unexpected situations. In this sense, safety largely revolves around the people involved and how they recognize, perceive, respond to and organize around situations that occur. 

Psychology is important in the field of human factors and safety.  Human factors are closely related to cognitive psychology. Cognitive psychology is the study of mental processes such as attention, language use, memory, perception, problem solving, creativity, and thinking. It is for example important to include knowledge and methods to test how humans perceive information when new routines or products are developed.

The field of Safety and Human factors is also closely related to work and organizational psychology. Work and organizational psychology could be defined as the scientific study of human behavior and relationships in the workplace and applies psychological theories and principles to organizations. One example of how work and organizational psychology is relevant for human factors is that my PhD candidates and I  have found in several studies, that how new technology and products are implemented and communicated have a large effect on how they are used. Human relationships (including e. g. management, trust, training, communication, and change processes) provide a large part of what creates safety in an organization. Knowledge and methods from work and organizational psychology are used to study human relationships in an organization.


Current projects

Immersive Visual Technologies for Safety-critical Applications (ImmerSAFE): This is a Marie-Curie Innovative Training Network project (EU project). It has partner in five countries: Finland, Italy, Sweden, Croatia and Norway. The goal of our part of this project is to increase knowledge on the human and organizational ffactors affecting the adoption and use of advanced technology in safety-critical applications. This work package will investigate user experience, task performance and organizational level studies. NTNU project leader: Karin Laumann, PhD candidate Mina Saghafian and Simone Grassini. Funded by EU. Net page to the overall project:

Performance Shaping Factors: In this project a new lab is developed at the Department of Psychology to be used experiments on how a variety of factors shape performance in a control room setting. This project includes a post doctoral position funded by the Faculty of Social and Educational Sciences. NTNU project leader: Karin Laumann, post doktor: Martin Rasmussen. This project is in cooperation with Ronald Boring at Idaho National lab, US.


Completed projects

Inter-organizational complexity:  In this  this project inter-organizational challenges for safety and what can be done to reduce negative safety effects of inter-organizational complexity is studied. 
NTNU project leader: Karin Laumann. PhD candidate: Vibeke Milch (graduated).
Funded by the Research Council of Norway, Petromaks program.

Petro-HRA: In this project human reliability analysis (HRA) was adjusted for use in the petroleum industry. NTNU project leader: Karin Laumann. PhD candidate: Martin Rasmussen (graduated). 
Funded by the Research Council of Norway, Petromaks program.

Safety management system: This project investigated challenges with implementation and use of a Safety management system in a petroleum producing company and suggestions for how to reduce these challenges. NTNU project leader: Karin Laumann. PhD candidate: Thomas Wold (graduated). 
Funded by the Research Council of Norway. Petromaks program.

ELAD/Implementation of new technology: This project investigated how implementation of new technology affects safety and how this implementation could be improved. NTNU project leader: Karin Laumann. PhD candidate: Gunhild Sætren (graduated). Funded by the Research Council of Norway, Petromaks program.

Vitenskapelig, faglig og kunstnerisk arbeid

Viser et utvalg av aktivitet. Se alle publikasjoner i databasen


Del av bok/rapport

  • Laumann, Karin; Blackman, Harold S.; Rasmussen, Martin. (2018) Challenges with data for human reliability analysis. Safety and Reliability – Safe Societies in a Changing World. Proceedings of ESREL 2018, June 17-21, 2018, Trondheim, Norway.
  • Laumann, Karin; Rasmussen, Martin; Boring, Ronald. (2018) A Literature Study to Explore Empirically: What Is the Scientific Discipline of Human Factors and What Makes It Distinct from Other Related Fields. Advances in Human Error, Reliability, Resilience, and Performance.
  • Laumann, Karin; Rasmussen, Martin. (2017) Experience and training as performance-shaping factors in human reliability analysis. Risk, Reliability and Safety: Innovating Theory and Practice : Proceedings of ESREL 2016 (Glasgow, Scotland, 25-29 September 2016).
  • Laumann, Karin; Rasmussen, Martin. (2016) Suggestions for Improvements to the Definitions of SPAR-H Performance Shaping Factors, to the Definitions of the Levels, and Suggestions for Changes in the Multipliers. Proceedings of the Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Management (PSAM) 12 Conference - Volume 6.
  • Laumann, Karin; Øien, Knut; Taylor, Claire; Boring, Ronald R.; Rasmussen, Martin. (2016) Analysis of Human Actions as Barriers in Major Accidents in the Petroleum Industry, Applicability of Human Reliability Analysis Methods (Petro-HRA). Proceedings of the Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Management (PSAM) 12 Conference - Volume 4.


  • Bye, Andreas; Laumann, Karin; Taylor, Claire; Rasmussen, Martin; Øie, Sondre; van de Merwe, Koen; Øien, Knut; Boring, Ronald; Paltrinieri, Nicola; Wærø, Irene; Massaiu, Salvatore; Gould, Kristian. (2017) The Petro-HRA Guideline. 2017. ISBN 978-82-7017-901-5.