How Symptoms Are Presented Online May Affect Whether We Think We Have The Disease

The Huffington Post:

If you’re one of those people who obsessively Googles your symptoms when you’re feeling sick, you should read this.

A new study in the journal Psychological Science shows that we’re more likely to think we have the sickness or disease if a number of our symptoms are listed consecutively on a website.

“People irrationally infer more meanings from a ‘streak,’” study researcher Virginia Kwan, a psychologist at Arizona State University, said in a statement. It leads them to “perceive a higher personal risk of having that illness.”

For the experiment, Kwan and researchers from University of California, Irvine, Ono Academic College and the University of Warwick had student study participants were introduced to six symptoms for a made-up thyroid cancer, that researchers called “isthmal.”

Read the whole story: The Huffington Post

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