Health
Project
December 13, 2020

Reducing biased information processing to increase compliance with measures recommended by the NHS for the prevention of Covid-19

The Nova SBE Behavioral Lab explored how a cognitive bias - called confirmation bias - affects people's decision to follow the SNS recommendations regarding the prevention of COVID-19 and teste da simple and economical intervention to improve the compliance rate. Confirmation bias tends to look for information to support pre-existing opinions and ignore or minimize the importance of contrary information leading to decision-making errors, including in health-related decisions. For example, there is a skewed selection of data on vaccinations, which contributes to the decision against them). Confirmation bias is a critical issue in the current context, since information of varying quality reaches people through different channels. A biased selection of information can cause the execution of minor preventive measures or wrong measures.

This research aims to test an intervention, previously validated, that reduces the confirmation bias. The intervention, made through a short video, has already shown good results in the laboratory, with positive effects, in the short and long term, on the quality of decision making. However, it has never been tested in a concrete crisis situation. It is expected that, if there is no stimulation to the selection of information related to COVID-19, the autonomous implementation of the correct prevention measures will improve. Data analysis is still ongoing and the final results will be announced in December. The initial exploratory results indicate that the intervention successfully reduces the confirmation bias and impacts the type and quality of the sources that people consult to stay informed about the pandemic. For example, biased people were also the most likely to consult official health sources later.

We are preparing a follow-up study focusing specifically on masks' use, since the adoption of this measure is essential although there are still those who are still opposed to it. We want to further test whether carrying out a similar bias removal intervention among people who oppose using masks would encourage them to spontaneously consult better sources and be more in favor or not of using them.

Link: https://www2.novasbe.unl.pt/en/community/labs-hubs/behavioral-lab/overview

Nova SBE Behavioral Lab

Nova SBE Behavioral Lab

The research team for this project includes the co-director of the Nova SBE Behavioral Lab, Irene Consiglio (Nova SBE), the consumer behavior researcher, Dr. Sofia Kousi (Nova SBE), and Dr. Anne-Laure Sellier (HEC), who is a specialist in cognitive biases.

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3. Good health and well-being
Pills.
Health
Research insight
SDG
3
8

Entry and price competition in the over-the-counter drug market after deregulation: evidence from Portugal

In the last two decades, many European countries allowed the sale of over-the-counter (OTC) drugs outside pharmacies. This was expected to lower retail prices through increased competition, though evidence of such price reductions is scarce. This study assesses the impact of supermarket and outlet entry in the OTC drug market on OTC prices charged by incumbent pharmacies.

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Health
Opinion Article
SDG
3

Made in Portugal: A recipe to fight the opioid crisis

Opioid abuse is one of the biggest challenges currently faced by American society. Twenty-five years ago, Portugal too was amidst a drug epidemic. The Portuguese strategy to fight the drug epidemic had at its core the idea that drug addicts are not criminals, but rather patients who need help. And you know what? It succeeded.

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Health
Project
SDG
16
17

Identify and Qualify Fraud in Health Services in Portugal

Researchers from Nova SBE Health Economics & Management Knowledge Center are developing a project with the Governmental Agency for Health Activities Inspection to identify and qualify fraud in Portugal’s health service.

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