« Vice stocks down in recession ? | Main | D-man on derivatives »

Head hurt bayesian

They found that Web searches for things like headache and chest pain were just as likely or more likely to lead people to pages describing serious conditions as benign ones, even though the serious illnesses are much more rare.

For example, there were just as many results that linked headaches with brain tumors as with caffeine withdrawal, although the chance of having a brain tumor is infinitesimally small.

Would such inference be addressed better by a frequentist or bayesian mindset ?

[Via NYT, Eric Horvitz and Ryen W. White, Microsoft ]

Microsoft Examines Causes of 'Cyberchondria'
Published: November 25, 2008
A new survey from Microsoft suggests that self-diagnosis by search engine frequently leads Web searchers to conclude the worst about what ails them.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)