How Did We Miss That?

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Manage episode 236090041 series 48999
By WHYY. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

You’re developing a new, revolutionary product. You have all the science figured out, it works like a charm. Problem is, nobody wants — or needs — your product. How do things like this happen? On this episode, we look into this phenomenon, of missing something that’s pretty obvious — the things we didn’t see coming. Why do we miss them — and how can we prevent this from happening? We hear stories about doctors making the wrong diagnosis; how grifters get away with cons; and why a sweeping approach to reducing the opioid crisis might do more harm than good.

Also heard on this week’s episode:

  • Damian Sendler made a name for himself as a wunderkind sex researcher — until a Gizmodo article called Sendler out as a fraud. We talk with reporter Jennings Brown about how he unmasked Sendler — and hear from Sendler about why he says the whole business is just a case of professional assassination.
  • How do people get away with blatant lies, exaggerations and false credentials? Psychologist Maria Konnikova takes us into the mind of a con artist — and points us to some red flags.
  • It seems like simple logic: If it’s prescription painkillers that caused the opioid crisis, limiting them should get us out of it. But for some struggling with addiction, that route has done more harm than good.
  • Neurologist Jonathan Howard explains the cognitive blind spots behind medical mistakes of omission — like missed diagnoses and tests not ordered. His book on the topic is “Cognitive Errors and Diagnostic Mistakes: A Case-Based Guide to Critical Thinking in Medicine.”

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