Informations and abstract
Keywords: Health Choices; Decision Making; Nudging; Choice Architecture.
The psychology of medical decision-making focuses on the study of how agents process information and make choices in the clinical field. More specifically, this research area deals with the ability of physicians to diagnose, predict and evaluate the effectiveness of a treatment, but also includes the study of the compliance degree of patients (for example, compliance with prescribed medication times of intake). However, all of these decisions are posthumous with respect to the event that brings a patient to the doctor. Decisions that affect a person's health, such as nutrition, smoking, alcohol consumption, screening or vaccination, are equally delicate and relevant to people's well-being's as well as from the point of view of decision theory. This article explains the contribution of behavioural economics towards the improvement of health decisions before the occurring of a clinical event. The belief that this approach can complement the traditional tools in the policy makers toolbox is spreading with increasing strength. In this light, we will concentrate on denied risks and invisible risks: why do smokers continue to light cigarettes even when packets display gruesome warnings? Why do some women postpone screening even when solicited directly by letter?