A new study used a simulation with anesthesiology residents to investigate whether rudeness negatively affects medical performance. Chris Giordano, M.D., collaborated with colleagues in UF’s Warrington College of Business on the study, which was published in June in the Journal of Applied Psychology.
“During our Leadership Seminars, we spent a year reading about decision-making and the cognitive errors that can occur from everyday phenomena,” said Giordano, an associate professor of anesthesiology who leads our resident leadership seminar series. “We were all intrigued by the impact that emotions had.”
Coincidentally, one of the papers the group read was by Amir Erez, Ph.D., a professor in UF’s Warrington College of Business whose research focuses on how moods and behaviors affect performance and cognition.
“We then devised a simulation-based study to evaluate the impact of rudeness on decision-making during critical events,” Giordano said.
The researchers found that rudeness negatively affected medical diagnoses and treatment in the simulation. Negative interpersonal interactions can narrow someone’s perspective, making them more susceptible to “anchoring bias,” which is the tendency to get fixated on one piece of information when making a decision, even if that piece of information is irrelevant.