Cognitive bias in image perception

Dr Henry Knipe and Andrew Murphy et al.

Cognitive bias has a complex and significant impact on the perception of radiological images. The following are some of the more common cognitive bias that can affect day-to-day decision making 1.

Anchoring bias

Anchoring bias is the tendency for one to focus on salient evidence upon the initial stages of the diagnosis leading to the diagnosis. Anchoring bias can also be heuristic in nature 

Availability bias

Availability bias is the process in which one is to pass judgment more frequency if this information is readily available in the mind

Confirmation bias

Having a predetermined diagnosis in mind, then looking for evidence that supports this predetermined idea

Representativeness bias

Making a judgment on an aspect of an image that is based on one's own perception of what that represents. Representativeness bias as the description suggest can also be heuristic in nature 

Search satisfaction

Search satisfaction is ones tendency to cease a search early due to early findings satisfying the reader. Satisfaction of search bias has been reported to account for 22% of diagnostic errors 2.

Framing bias

Framing bias is in which the reader is influenced by the clinical question. For example, a well-written request form detailing the exact pathology expected may influence the reader's decision. 

Outcome bias

A tendency to favour a less severe diagnosis based on empathy for a patient

Zebra retreat bias 

A reader will not make a rare diagnosis albeit supported by evidence due to a lack of confidence.

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