Success chasing: "He's a well-known expert. He's been treating eating disorders for years!"

Fascinating and chilling, both:

Brain Imaging, Behavior Research Reveals Physicians Learn More by Paying Attention to Failure

The power of confirmation bias and "success chasing" is an important dynamic in trying to change the way a field operates - as I believe the ED field needs to do. When I hear "it works well for my patients" my hair stands on end. That may indeed be true, actually, but that person's confidence in his or her practice isn't a good judge.

I have seen some people be presented with evidence, training, experience, and a shift in the field but still believe that all of it can be explained away or has little relevance to their own work. They simply believe what they believe and know that because they have good intentions and see successful patients that their judgment is sound.

Yet change, even with the very best evidence, is still difficult when we consider that: physicians still struggle to do the most basic of life-saving hygeine: washing their hands.


  1. Funny (although not so much in a "haha" way) the parallels that can be drawn with the person with an eating disorder.
    I know myself that I too, at times, have a bad case of confirmation bias!
    It would be good to see the pro's fighting against it as much as I have to everyday!
    I am reminded that it is feedback - not failure ;)
    (Although in some cases re. ed research misconstrued feedback = failure to provide effective treatment!)


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