Cognitive bias in clinical medicine

Cognitive bias is increasingly recognised as an important source of medical error, and is both ubiquitous across clinical practice yet incompletely understood. This increasing awareness of bias has resulted in a surge in clinical and psychological research in the area and development of various ‘debiasing strategies’. This paper describes the potential origins of bias based on ‘dual process thinking’, discusses and illustrates a number of the important biases that occur in clinical practice, and considers potential strategies that might be used to mitigate their effect.