I study how people process information, what aspects of information they focus on, what they evaluate as worthy to consider and act upon. At times, evaluating available information, people could misjudge opportunities and choose options that might lead to a suboptimal outcome.
For instance, encountering a medical problem, when stakes are high and actions irreversible, people might choose interventions with minimum benefits but with serious harms. One challenge is that individuals might prioritize their prior attitudes or anecdotal experiences over evidence-based information while making decisions.
My mission is to develop tools that motivate individuals to learn critical aspects of information and avoid choosing options that have high-costs but low-benefits.
My research program covers two main areas:
a) How the manner of information presentation influences individuals’ information processing and choices
Fridman, I., Fagerlin, A., Scherr, K, Kanze, D., Scherer, L., Ubel, P. A. (R&R) Deciding to Live or Not to Die: A Linguistic Examination of Information Framing In Physician-Patient Conversations. Medical Decision Making.
Fridman, I., Ubel P.A., A., Eyal, N., Blumenthal-Barby, J., Freedberg, K., Kuritzkes, D. R. Pollak, K., Zikmund-Fisher, B. J., Halpern, S.D., Scherr, K., (2020) “Cure” versus “Medication-Free Remission”: The effect of discussing 'cure' versus 'medication-free remission' on attitudes of people living with HIV. AIDS & Behavior, PDF
b) How to encourage individuals to process information carefully and utilize the information in their decisions.
Fridman I., Ubel, A.P, Higgins, E.T. (2018). Eye-Tracking Evidence Shows that Non-Fit Messaging Impacts Attention, Attitudes and Choice. PloS One, doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0205993., PDF
Fridman, I., Scherr, K., Glare, P., Higgins, E. T. (2016). Using a non-fit message helps to de-intensify negative reactions to tough advice. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. 42(8):1025-44. doi: 10.1177/0146167216649931, PDF
Fridman, I & Higgins, E. T. Regulatory Focus Theory and Health Communications (2017). In Ed. Parrott, R.L., Research Encyclopedia of Health and Risk Message. Oxford Press, PDF