Improving Medical Decision Making through the Wisdom of Crowds

Grant Number: 
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Date Range: 
01 Sep 2016 to 31 Aug 2018
Principal Investigators: 

This grant applies cutting-edge network science to reduce bias and increase the accuracy of physicians' decisions. The grant supports a randomized controlled experiment that will study the role of social influence in medical decision-making. The study will recruit medical interns and residents to answer questions that have a degree of uncertainty about what the physician should do or prescribe. Specifically, the study will ask participants to answer medical-board-type questions; in subsequent rounds, the participants will be exposed to answers based on different social network configurations; and in the final round, the participants will provide their final answers. The data analysis aims to analyze herding effects and the degree to which both group-level herding effects and accuracy as a function of social influence play a role.