Biases in Human Prediction

In the language of cognitive psychology, the ability to predict is the ability to infer, estimate, and judge the character of unknown events. By this definition, a large part of clinical medicine requires that physicians make medical predictions. Despite its importance, it remains subject to many biases. There are a number of important biases affecting medical prediction in diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment choices. This is particularly true in emotionally intense medical circumstances at the end of life. Physicians, patients, and policy makers should be aware of these biases when confronted with decisions in all these circumstances to help avoid their consequences. This entry outlines ways in which cognitive biases often prevent accurate medical predictions across a number of decision-making situations.

Medical Prediction

One major type of medical ...

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