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Gary Klein
Born February 5, 1944 (1944-02-05) (age 65)
New York City, New York, U.S. United States
Nationality American
Education B.A. in Psychology, Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology
Occupation Research Psychologist
Spouse(s) Helen Klein

Gary Klein (born February 5, 1944 in New York City, New York, U.S.) is a research psychologist famous for his work in pioneering the field of naturalistic decision making. By studying experts such as firefighters in their natural environment, he discovered that laboratory models of decision making couldn’t describe decision-making under uncertainty. His recognition primed decision (RPD) model has influenced changes in the ways the Marines and Army train their officers to make decisions. His company has also developed their own variant of cognitive task analysis to gather data in complex domains.

Klein received his B.A. in Psychology from City College of New York (1964) and his Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh (1969). Klein spent several years as an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan, and worked as a Research Psychologist for the Air Force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base from 1974–1978. He spent a few years as Assistant Professor of Psychology at Wilberforce University in Ohio. He founded Klein Associates in 1978 in order to study a range of topics that are now described as the Naturalistic Decision Making framework. Klein eventually left Wilberforce to focus on his company and its research. Klein sold his company in 2005 to Applied Research Associates but remains Chief Scientist there.


  • Books
    • Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions Cambridge, MA: MIT Press 1999 ISBN 0262611465
    • The Power of Intuition: How to Use Your Gut Feelings to Make Better Decisions at Work Currency, 2004 ISBN 0385502893
    • (with Judith Orasanu, and Roberta Calderwood) Decision Making in Action: Models and Methods Ablex, 1993 ISBN 0893919438
    • ed. (with Eduardo Salas) Linking Expertise and Naturalistic Decision Making Erlbaum, 2001 ISBN 0805835385
    • ed. (with Caroline Zsambok) Naturalistic Decision Making Erlbaum, 1996 ISBN 080581874X
  • Selected articles in refereed journals
    • with Roberta Calderwood and Beth W. Crandall Time Pressure, Skill, and Move Quality in Chess The American Journal of Psychology, Vol. 101, No. 4 (Winter, 1988), 481-493
    • with Calderwood, R. and MacGregor, D. Critical decision method for eliciting knowledge Systems, Man and Cybernetics, IEEE Transactions on May/Jun 1989 Vol. 19, 3, 462-472
    • with Karen J. Peio Use of a Prediction Paradigm to Evaluate Proficient Decision Making The American Journal of Psychology, Vol. 102, No. 3 (Autumn, 1989), pp. 321–331
    • Finding and using technology-specific expertise The Journal of Technology Transfer Vol. 16, No. 1 / March, 1991
    • with Calderwood, R. Decision models: some lessons from the field Systems, Man and Cybernetics, IEEE Transactions on Sep/Oct 1991 Vol. 21, 5, 1018-1026




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