Fifty Cognitive and Affective biases.

Lorri Zipperer Lorri at ZPM1.COM
Sat Sep 7 17:42:06 UTC 2013

One technique we (Mark Graber, Barb Jones and others: see
page 6) have used in our DxError education- and awareness- building efforts
for Informationists is to highlight a subset of Pat's biases that gave been
noted to affect their output in the distinct areas of expertise employed in
the diagnostic decision making process. We think its valuable for folks to
not only be able to see how the biases appear in others, but also in the
work they do. It makes it more real.

For example, librarians are concerned about confirmation bias: clients come
in and ask for materials that only support what the already know and don't
want to see contrarian evidence. In a safe culture, one professional should
be empowered as part of the team to redirect that bias. Isn't always the
case. But do librarians fall victim to confirmation bias in their own
practice? Could be. If they do, how can they then design services and build
relationship to mitigate its affect in cases where confirmation bias is
evident in the information seeking behavior of others.

We'll be trying this out next week in a class Barb and I are developing
focused on the role of cognitive bias and evidence gathering behaviors. We
can share how the tactic works if folks are interested.


Lorri Zipperer, Cybrarian and editor
Zipperer Project Management 

Patient Safety: Perspectives in Evidence, Information and Knowledge Transfer
ISBN 978-1-4094-3857-1 

Knowledge Management in Health Care
ISBN: 978-1-4094-3883-0
lorri at

Data: nurse numbers
Information: nurse textbooks
Evidence: nurse effectiveness 
Knowledge: nurse experience

-----Original Message-----
From: Graber, Mark [mailto:Mark.Graber at VA.GOV] 
Sent: Saturday, September 07, 2013 7:31 AM
Subject: Re: [IMPROVEDX] Fifty Cognitive and Affective biases.

I agree - it would be very valuable to somehow improve how we present the
biases.  The idea of grouping them is excellent, and many of the heuristics
and CDR's (cognitive dispositions to respond, Pat's term) ARE related.

I'd also like to see each one illustrated by a real-world, every day
examples outside medicine so learners would recognize that these are all
just part of normal cognition.  How about a contest -"Submit Your Best

There is a very little data on prevalence, but in our study it seemed like
two were at the top of the list:

 *   Premature closure
 *   Context errors/framing/diagnostic inertia (all related).

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