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Stereotypes & Heuristics

The use of stereotypes and heuristics can lead a doctor to an incorrect diagnosis. How could the doctor effectively identify the degree to which stereotypes and heuristics are an influence on diagnoses? What tactic might the doctor use to mitigate the effects of stereotypes and heuristics when making diagnoses? Why is this tactic likely to be effective?

Solution Summary

Many factors may lead to an inaccurate diagnosis by a professional practitioner. Stereotypes and dependence on heuristics are two such examples. Stereotypes, heuristics and other biases play a very important role in our ability to make sense of information we receive on a daily basis. It allows us to comprehend and categorize huge amounts of information in ways that will be useful to us in our daily lives. It makes us our work efficient and less complex. Nevertheless, the use of any "short cut" when dealing with information will inevitably lead us to ignore or exclude some information that is deemed as outliers (not fitting in with the majority). It may also be impossible for us to cover all grounds or to obtain an entirely accurate picture of any particular scenario given our personal and structural limitations.

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