ERIC Number: EJ828785
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Mar
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
The Influence of Context on Residents' Evaluations: Effects of Priming on Clinical Judgment and Affect
Teunissen, P. W.; Stapel, D. A.; Scheele, F.; Scherpbier, A. J. J. A.; Boor, K.; van Diemen-Steenvoorde, J. A. A. M.; van der Vleuten, C. P. M.
Advances in Health Sciences Education, v14 n1 p23-41 Mar 2009
Different lines of research have suggested that context is important in acting and learning in the clinical workplace. It is not clear how contextual information influences residents' constructions of the situations in which they participate. The category accessibility paradigm from social psychology appears to offer an interesting perspective for studying this topic. We explored the effect of activating medically irrelevant mental concepts in one context, so-called "priming", on residents' interpretations as reflected in their judgments in another, work-related context. Obstetric-gynecologic residents participated in two unrelated-tasks experiments. In the first experiment residents were asked to indicate affect about a change in a routine procedure after performing an ostensibly unrelated "priming" task which activated the concept of either "ineffective coping" or "effective coping". The second experiment concerned residents' patient management decisions in a menorrhagia case after "priming" with either "action" or "holding off". Contextually activated mental concepts lead to divergent affective and cognitive evaluations in a subsequent medical context. Residents are not aware of this effect. The strength of the effect varies with residents' level of experience. Context influences residents' constructions of a work-related situation by activating mental concepts which in turn affect how residents experience situations. Level of experience appears to play a mediating role in this process.
Descriptors: Context Effect, Clinical Experience, Medical Evaluation, Medical Students, Priming, Social Psychology, Coping, Affective Behavior, Cognitive Processes
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A