Decision-making biases and doctor error: Anchoring bias by Prof Jill Klein

Posted on July 25, 2019

Professor Jill Klein is an esteemed academic and award-winning author with more than 30 years of teaching experience. Her specialities are resilience, decision-making, and managerial judgement. She has taught senior executives and MBA students in top-tier business schools around the world, including Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, INSEAD, and Duke University. She teaches leadership for the Melbourne Medical School’s Master in Clinical Education programme at the University of Melbourne and is leading the design for a new specialist Certificate in Clinical Leadership programme. In addition, Jill has led workshops in the public health sector and pharmaceutical companies. 

Author Quotes:  

[Hypothetical case study question] Half of you got 25% and half of you got 75%, so the question is, would you be anchored to that number?

One thing I’ve always been interested in is whether you have more anchoring when the anchor is something you’d like to confirm. So if the anchor fits with how you’d like to see things, do we get a stronger anchoring bias? I’ve always wanted to test that.

The key thing to do is listen for your fixed mindset voice.

Summary and slides:  

The final part of Prof Klein’s presentation begins with a discussion of anchoring bias and the effect this has on our ability to judge probabilities. 

She discusses some hypothetical case studies with the audience and reveals their answers to specific questions confirm. 

Prof Klein ends the presentation with a look at errors in diagnosis and the meaning behind mindsets, and gives the results of the audience survey performed prior to the talk. The presentation ends with a Q&A session with the audience. 

Take-Home Points:  

  • Recognise that you have a choice in how you interpret challenges, setbacks, and criticism 
  • Early experimental data reveal a tendency to move away from a low anchor when it is your own patient 
  • People with a fixed mindset think they make fewer errors than those with a growth mindset 
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