Navigation Links
Why the Web tells us what we already know

The Internet is not the font of all knowledge, despite the plethora of information available at your fingertips.

Researchers from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Australia have found that while Internet searches do bring up a variety of useful materials, people pay more attention to information that matches their pre-existing beliefs.

Even if people read the right material, they are stubborn to changing their views, said one of the authors, UNSW Professor Enrico Coiera. This means that providing people with the right information on its own may not be enough.

The research considered how people use Internet search engines to answer health questions.

We know that the web is increasingly being used by people to help them make healthcare decisions, said Professor Coiera. We know that there can be negative consequences if people find the wrong information, especially as people in some countries can now self-medicate by ordering drugs online. Australians can order complementary medicines online and these can interfere with other medications.

Our research shows that, even if search engines do find the right information, people may still draw the wrong conclusions in other words, their conclusions are biased.

What also matters is where the information appears in the search results and how much time a person spends looking at it, according to the research which has been published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.

The first or the last document the user sees has a much greater impact on their decisions, said Professor Coiera, who is the Director of the Centre for Health Informatics at UNSW.

Dr Annie Lau worked with Professor Coiera to design an interface to help people make sense of the information which they are presented with and to break down these decision biases.

The new search engine interface we have designed could be a part of any search engine and allows people to organise the information they find, and as a result organise their thoughts better, said Professor Coiera.

While the research was conducted in the area of health, Professor Coiera said the results and the technology are applicable to other fields too.

The research on the interface will be publicly available within a year.


Contact: Professor Enrico Coiera
University of New South Wales

Related medicine news :

1. A drug-sensitive traffic cop tells potassium channels to get lost
2. Divorce foretells childs future care for elderly parent
3. HungerFREE Campaign Tells UN: Put food on the table
4. Lafley Tells Shareholders That P&G is Designed to Grow
5. Do Not Take the Pill! Dr. Prudence Hall Tells her Teen and Female Patients
6. AARP CEO Bill Novelli Tells Lawmakers: Controlling Health Care Costs Key to Budget Reform
7. UBC researchers discover instruction manual that tells cancers how to hide from immune system
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... “While riding the bus, I ... Bronx, N.Y. “I thought there had to be a convenient and comfortable way to ... The PROTECTOR enables disabled individuals to safely travel during cold or inclement weather. In ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... (PHA) announces the nation’s Periwinkle Pioneers, individuals and groups responsible for advancing care ... disease. The Periwinkle Pioneers, nominated by the public, will receive special recognition throughout ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... philanthropic seniors, is resulting in a way for homeless people to have a ... have launched a new initiative whereby they are repurposing plastic bags into sleeping ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Since its launch in 2012, ... adult stem cell therapies to patients with chronic degenerative medical conditions. Now, the ... Registered Trademark (RTM). , Organizations are required to hold a registered trademark in ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Genesis Chiropractic Software ... software creates an agreement between the practice owner and the patient that automatically ... notification, and projections. Click here to learn more. , ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... FRANCISCO , Nov. 24, 2015  Thanks to ... Dignity Health St. Mary,s Medical Center,s Sister Diane Grassilli ... breast imaging capabilities in San Francisco ... an anonymous friend, stepped forward with a gift of ... for Breast Digital Mammography with Tomosynthesis and Whole Breast ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Colo. , Nov. 24, 2015  Array ... that its Chief Executive Officer, Ron Squarer ... Healthcare Conference in New York.  The public is ... webcast on the Array BioPharma website.Event:Piper Jaffray Annual ... , Wednesday, December 2, 2015Time:1:30 p.m. Eastern Time ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... HOUSTON, TX and VANCOUVER, Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... EPI; NASDAQ: EPIX ) announced today that the ... clinical study of EPI-506 as a treatment for metastatic ... States and Canada.  --> ... --> In the Phase 1/2 clinical trial, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: