Social influences in health decision making essay

A large sensitivity parameter implies that the option with the higher posterior probability will be chosen with a higher probability. By specifying the Bayesian solution as a special case of the model, we can test whether people deviate from the normative solution of probability theory.

Social influences in health decision making essay

Received Jul 5; Accepted Dec Abstract People often make decisions in a social environment. In the first experimental study, we implemented an information cascade paradigm, illustrating that people infer information from decisions of others and use this information to make their own decisions.

We followed a cognitive modeling approach to elicit the weight people give to social as compared to private individual information. The proposed social influence model shows that participants overweight their own private information relative to social information, contrary to the normative Bayesian account.


In our second study, we embedded the abstract decision problem of Study 1 in a medical decision-making problem. The social influence model illustrates that people weight social information differentially according to the authority of other decision makers.

Both studies illustrate how the social environment provides sources of information that people integrate differently for their decisions. Introduction Individuals often ignore their own opinion in favor of the opinions of others. People sometimes follow the behavior of others even when they provide inaccurate information.

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The present article focuses on a decision-making problem in which several individuals sequentially make decisions and have the potential to influence each other. This situation has been studied by economists who focused on conformity behavior that results from the cognitive integration of socially inferred information improving individual decisions [ 45 ].

In contrast, social psychologists have additionally emphasized conformity behavior that is motivated by maintaining or building acceptance and belonging. Following a cognitive modeling approach, we sought to examine to what extent individual decisions are affected by different types of social influence.

Specifically, we are interested in how socially inferred information and normative expectations of an authority have an impact on individual decisions.

Social influences in health decision making essay

Imagine a physician confronted with the task of diagnosing a type of flu strain in a patient showing several symptoms. The symptoms speak in favor of Influenza A, but symptoms are only probabilistically related to flu strains.

Thus the physician knows that her diagnosis will be correct only with a certain probability. Meanwhile she knows that her colleague has diagnosed a case of the relatively harmless Influenza C in the same patient.

Social influences in health decision making essay

What should she do: Can such a conformity decision be reasonable? To explain why people conform it is helpful to distinguish two types of social influence: Normative social influence describes behavior that has been driven by the desire to achieve a valued, coherent self-identity and to convey a particular impression to others [ 7 ].person-centred values must influence all aspects of health and social care work There is no doubt that person-centred care values must influence all aspects of health and social care work.

Health and social care should be based on person-centred values, and should be individualised as this is a law requirement (Human Rights Act , Health and .

Key Concept. Decision-making is often strongly influenced by social factors, and research in the nascent field of neuroeconomics (which crosses the disciplines of psychology, marketing, economics and neuroscience) is helping to explain why.

Health behaviour theorists have long attested to the importance of social influences in health decision making. For example, the prominent Social Cognitive Theory builds in a construct of outcome expectancies, of which social outcome expectancies, or the value of the anticipated reaction of those in one’s environment, play a role.

Some topics that might have an affect include the lifelong importance of health determinants in early childhood, and the effects of poverty, drugs, working conditions, unemployment, social support, good food and transport policy.

The community researchers then reviewed a prepared list of many potential factors, grouped into domains (social, behavioral, family/community, physical/mental, demographic, health care, genetic, environmental, and attitudes/beliefs), and were given the opportunity to expand or change their initial list of factors, as well as to eliminate any.

To examine the effect of cultural, social, and community environments on home care, I begin with a brief treatment of the social-ecological model as it applies to these home care environments. I focus particularly on culture as it may be relevant to home care, the least studied of these elements.

Social Influences in Sequential Decision Making