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 Clinical Intuition

Clinical Judgments are Social Judgments!

    Ψ  Illusory correlation is the phenomenon of seeing the relationship one expects in a set of data even when no such relationship exists. We often mistakenly assume things are correlated when they are not. When we make this mistake, we will find ways to ‘prove’ it or simply believe & assert the correlation.
   The opposite of Illusory correlation is an invisible correlation where an actual correlation is missed, for example the link between smoking & cancer was not realized for a long time.

    Ψ  Hindsight Bias - the tendency to exaggerate, after learning an outcome, one's ability to have foreseen how something turned out. a.k.a. as the I-knew-it-all-along phenomenon. Conductive to arrogance.

    Clinicians are particularly vulnerable to the hindsight bias, to confirm their "after-the-fact analyses" &/or finding justification in patient’s histories for diagnosis they have already made.

Self-Confirming Diagnoses = Conformation Bias = Confirmation Bias! (as discussed, mod. 7)

     In psychology, there is a concept known as conformation bias. This concept says that because we like to be right, humans will instinctually seek out information to confirm what they believe to be true, even if the evidence may be flawed.

     Conformation bias confirms one's preconceptions by looking for examples that are in line with our own viewpoint, but ignoring any information that might disprove those misconceptions.

     Conformation bias: a tendency to search for information that confirms ones pre conceptions - a major obstacle to problem solving.

    Ψ  Re: Self-Confirming Diagnoses:

  “As is your sort of mind,
   So is your sort of search;
   You’ll find
   What you desire.”
                 Robert Browning

It's a Mickey Mouse World , isn't it?

Ψ  Statistical predictions are unreliable, human predictions are more so.

    Ψ  Clinicians are vulnerable to errors & biases because they

        •  are often the victims of Illusory correlations.
         •  are to easily convinced of their own after-the-fact analyses.
          •  often fail too take into account self-confirming issues.
           •  overestimate the predictive powers of clinical intuition.

Social Psychology
  Robert C. Gates