Duggan et al.'s MacGyver bias describes the inherent attraction of one's own personal improvised medical devices, even in the absence of evidence of benefit.pearl
- Laura V Duggan, Stuart D Marshall, Jeanette Scott, Peter G Brindley, and Hilary P Grocott.
- University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada. email@example.com.
- Can J Anaesth. 2019 Jul 1; 66 (7): 757-761.
no abstract available
The main premise of Duggan's argument is that our MacGyver bias is grounded in an overweighting of the perceived benefits of MacGyvered 'workarounds' to medical problems, with discounting or even ignoring of unknowns, risks and newly introduced hazards.
This bias is rooted in the satisfaction and enjoyment of solving a problem, the chance to "showcase one's creativity" and to be solutions oriented.
"The danger is that a workaround is so culturally appealing that it circumvents the level of scientific scrutiny that we would expect from any other equipment that we use. Novelty, immediacy, ownership, and ease of use can increase our propensity to bias and wilful blindness." – Duggan et al.
Leff & Finucane's (JAMA 2008) 'gizmo idolatry' commentary is also related, and well worth a read. The human love of bells and whistles...