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Experience and Evaluations

The manner by which individuals evaluate how good or bad it is to be in a health state is central to reaching an informed medical decision. Evidence has shown that personal experience with illness, such as being diagnosed with cancer, leads to a more positive evaluation of that health state than the general public's perception. This disparity has been attributed to a focusing bias on the part of the general public—the tendency to focus too narrowly on a single event, for example, cancer, while forgetting all the other aspects of life that will remain unaffected. One potential means for overcoming such a bias is to ask the public to imagine standing in the shoes of the patient. This perspective-taking exercise might be achieved through exposure ...

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