How many of you are guilty of having a headache, firing up the computer in search of a diagnosis and deciding you have a brain tumor? It's more common than you think.
A new study published in the Journal of Consumer Researcher suggests people are more apt to convince themselves they're sicker than they actually are, all because of what they find on the internet.
Researchers in Hong Kong compiled evidence from six different web-based experiments. Participants were asked to estimate the likelihood that they or someone else had one of several diseases based on common symptoms.
Ultimately, most people who searched for health information about themselves overestimated the likelihood of having a serious or deadly disease. The reason is because they focused on their symptoms, while ignoring the fact that there was only a small chance that the symptoms actually indicated something serious.
The study, however, showed we're much more accurate at assessing other people's symptoms and are less apt to over-blow medical concerns of our friends. Since the web-diagnosis trend continues to grow, public health officials urge you to visit a doctor when you are sick. A physician is trained to diagnose symptoms of all kinds, without help from the web.
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