Conflicts of interest (COIs) threaten the integrity of the medical field due to their capacity to compromise patient trust and healthcare quality. They deserve continued scrutiny but proposed policies to address COIs—ranging from penalties to mandated disclosures—often rest on misguided intuitions about the underlying psychological processes, leading to ineffective or even counterproductive outcomes. The shortcomings […]
Conflicts of Interest
This paper explores the complexities and unintended consequences of conflict of interest (COI) disclosures in various professional settings. It highlights key psychological processes encountered by recipients of such disclosures. Notably, it describes the burden of disclosure effect, which paradoxically reduces trust while increasing compliance due to social pressures, and disclosure’s expertise cue, where disclosures inadvertently increase trust and
Author Interview: “How Should the US Federal Government Oversee Clinicians’ Relationships With Industry?”
Following the publication of my article How Should The Us Federal Government Oversee Clinicians’ Relationships With Industry? in the American Medical Association’s Journal of Ethics, I was featured on their Author Interview podcast series. On the podcast I discuss with host Tim Hoff how my theory of the Professionalism Paradox applies in the medical field and
Abstract Many clinicians, including those who work in government, experience potential clashes between their professional responsibilities and personal interests that can create conflicts of interest (COIs). Some clinicians might assert that their personal stakes do not influence their professional actions, but data suggest otherwise. This commentary on a case suggests that COIs must be acknowledged
The Professionalism Paradox: A Sense of Professionalism Increases Vulnerability to Conflicts of Interest
Professionalism is often viewed, in the management literature and in practice, as a desirable sought-after trait in employees and managers. This belief, however, does not consider a potential dark side of professionalism. A high self-concept of professionalism often coexists with a shallow notion of the concept and can paradoxically lead to detrimental outcomes, such as
Patient responses to physician disclosures of industry conflicts of interest: A randomized field experiment.
Abstract Most patients in the United States depend on physicians who have financial relationships with the healthcare industry. These physician-industry relationships represent a conflict of interest: a potential clash between the physicians’ professional responsibilities and their self-interest. We conducted a randomized field experiment to assess the impact of written disclosures of physicians’ conflict of interest
Financial incentives can be a factor in pandemic policy decisions—albeit frequently at a subconscious and unintentional level. During the COVID-19 pandemic, leaders face difficult decisions that involve trade-offs between economic outcomes and public safety. These conflicts of interest can impact decisions related to closures, quarantines, lockdowns, social distancing, and mask-wearing. However, many decision-makers claim that
Conflict of interest disclosure with high quality advice: The disclosure penalty and the altruistic signal.
Abstract Advisors often have conflicts of interest: a potential clash between professional responsibilities and self-interests. Disclosure—informing advisees of the conflict—is a common policy response to manage such conflicts. However, extant research on disclosure has often confounded disclosure with poor-quality advice. In this article, we explore whether laws requiring conflict of interest disclosure damage the advisor–advisee
Understanding the (Perverse) Effects of Disclosing Conflicts of Interest: A Direct Replication Study.
Abstract Advisors are often subject to conflicts of interest—a potential clash between their professional responsibilities and personal interests. Such conflicts can increase bias in advice. Although disclosure is frequently proposed to manage conflicts of interest, it can have unintended consequences on both advisees and advisors. In seminal work, Cain et al., 2005, Cain et al.,
Abstract Conflicts of interest create an incentive for advisors to give biased advice, and disclosure is a popular remedy. Across a series of studies, with monetary stakes creating conflicts of interest, I show that disclosure of the conflict of interest can increase as well as decrease bias in advice. The effect of disclosure depends on