Cognitive bias and health-related decision-making

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University of Alabama Libraries

Extant literature suggests that cognitive bias is a pervasive phenomenon that is present in a variety of domains and is associated with negative consequences related to decision-making and interpersonal interactions (Chambers & Melnyk, 2006; Fischer et al., 2005; Lord et al., 1979; Ross & Ward, 1996). The utility of a brief intervention designed to reduce biases in the understudied domain of health was investigated. The present study extended previous work indicating that completion of a brief bias-reducing intervention was associated with significant reductions in inappropriate confidence in interpersonal judgments (Hart, Tullett, Shreves, & Fetterman, 2015). In the present study, participants completing a bias-reducing intervention did not demonstrate significant differences in confidence bias, selective exposure, and willingness to comply with hypothetical health interventions relative to participants completing a control task. Participants completing a bias-reducing task did, however, demonstrate a greater understanding of cognitive bias and its implications than control participants. Explanations for the present findings including the function of the bias-reducing intervention, measurement of confidence bias and its presumed manifestations, use of Amazon’s Mechanical Turk for recruitment and data collection, and the role of accuracy motivation in the domain of health are discussed. Overall results of the current investigation suggest a need to complete follow-up research in order to clarify present results and to reconcile these results with extant literature.

Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Psychology, Clinical psychology, Social psychology