The Washington Post:
We’ve all, at some point, likely done it: Felt under the weather, Googled the symptoms and, moments later, become convinced that it could be a life-threatening illness. Sixty percent of Americans, after all, get health care information online. New research in this month’s Psychological Science sheds some light on why, exactly, reading a description of brain cancer might quickly convince us we have it.
In the study, psychologists created a fictional thyroid cancer and had subjects read descriptions of its symptoms. Some had the very general symptoms, things like fatigue and weight fluctuation, grouped together at the start. Others had those general symptoms interspersed with more specific problems such as a lump on the neck.
What they found was those that went through the general symptoms first were more likely to self-diagnose themselves with cancer.
Read the whole story: The Washington Post
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