AbstractA representativeness heuristic (RH) refers to a shortcut in decision making, one or two subdimensions of which have been found to impact construction workers’ unsafe behaviors prominently. To reduce workers’ reliance on representativeness heuristic effectively, two key questions should be clarified: (1) whether all subdimensions of the representativeness heuristic influence workers’ decision making, and (2) whether such a heuristic is more or less prevalent in certain groups. However, both issues remain unresolved. To fill in these research gaps, the current study collected data using a questionnaire survey from 194 Chinese workers in eight construction projects. After a series of analyses, the results revealed that (1) all subdimensions of the representativeness heuristic had potential to impact construction workers’ decision making; and (2) workers’ reliance on the representativeness heuristic had an initial downtrend followed by an uptrend as age and education level increased, whereas seniority and type of work were not related to this heuristic. The research findings are helpful for safety organizations to manage their diverse workforces. Devoting prevention resources to workers of particular age and education background groups is recommended to reduce the representativeness heuristic and improve the safety performance of construction sites further.

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