Addicted To WebMD

Apr 18 2012 @ 8:17pm

What diagnosing yourself online and gambling have in common:

Gamblers make the mistake of seeing patterns in a set of randomly generated events, deciding that a positive result on one or two rolls of the dice indicates that positive rolls of the dice will continue. For cyberchondriacs, that same tendency means deciding that hitting a streak in the list of symptoms (headache, followed by nausea, followed by fatigue) means you must also have all of the other symptoms in the list.  … The way gamblers say they have a "hot hand," [study author Virginia Kwan] says, cyberchondriacs believe they have "hot symptoms": if they hit the first two in a list, they believe they must have the third one as well.