A piece of candy a day keeps the doctor in pace!

A piece of candy a day keeps the doctor in pace!

Every once in a while, you might feel a bit ill and would like to visit your doctor for some helpful advice. Obviously, you assume your doctor is that one person to professionally give you the right advice when you feel bad. But imagine your doctor not being capable giving you the right diagnosis let alone the right treatment because of his or her own personal situation and mindset. 

On the other hand, could doctors perform better when they have a positive mindset? Carlos Estrada and his colleagues (2001) studied the influence of doctors having a positive mindset when practicing their job. To test this, forty-four internists were assigned to one of three groups. Group one got a small package of candy, group two was asked to read statements on the practice of medicine and group three was used as a control group, so they did not receive anything. Following, the three groups of doctors had to solve a case of a patient with liver disease. 

The first group of doctors, who received the candy, was significantly faster in diagnosing the patient then group two. Next to that, group one showed less inflexibility in thinking than both group two and the control group. To sum up, the doctors who’s mindset was positively influenced were faster in finding the diagnosis and moreover did not show any forms of thinking too superficial or missing out on information. So, at your next appointment, bring your doctor something sweet!

Reference: Estrada, C. A., Isen, A. M., & Young, M. J. (2001). Positive affect facilitates integration of information and decreases anchoring in reasoning among physicians. Organizational behavior and human decision processes, 72(1), 117-135.

Author: Roos Hegener

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