Fifty Cognitive and Affective biases.

robert bell rmsbell at ESEDONA.NET
Thu Sep 5 22:17:27 UTC 2013

Dear all,

I have really appreciated Pat Croskerry's list of 50 biases that physicians can have when making diagnoses. And have sent to others by e-mail to create discussion and thought.

I wondered if this list could be made more useful?  Personally, I would never remember the whole 50 biases on the list.

Could the descriptors more accurately describe the biases to perhaps remember more easily; could similar issues be grouped together; perhaps could there be an attempt to rank the biases in terms of which are more likely to to be present in the average practice situation? 

Which brings up the issue of would the types of biases be different for PCPs versus Specialists? And yet again how would you know which are the most important without research? If the biases were ranked would you need different lists for specialists and PCPs or even different lists for different specialities?

And how would you design a study to pick the biases up? Is there bias research in other areas that could perhaps be extrapolated the the medical diagnostic arena?  e.g. Airline industry?

And finally, would the list be more useful if there were 5 to 10 main biases?

Rob Bell, M.D., Ph.C.

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