Author Interviews, Social Issues / 27.08.2015

Juliana Schroeder PhD, Assistant Professor Berkeley Haas Management of Organizations Group University of California at Berkeley MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Juliana Schroeder PhD, Assistant Professor Berkeley Haas Management of Organizations Group University of California at Berkeley Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Schroeder: Whereas much research examines how physicians perceive their patients,in this paper we instead study how patients perceive physicians. We propose that patients consider their physicians like personally emotionless “empty vessels:” The higher is individuals’ need for care, the less they value physicians’ traits related to physicians' personal lives (e.g., self-focused emotions) but the more they value physicians’ traits relevant to patient care (e.g., patient-focused emotions). ​In a series of experiments,we show that participants in higher need for care believe their physicians have less personal emotions. That is, they perceive physicians as emotionally "empty" the more they need them. This was true both when we manipulated need for care - for example, by having participants focus on potential medical problems or reminding them they needed to get a medical check-up - and also when we measured it, for example by comparing patients at a medical clinic (high need) to people not at a clinic (low need). (more…)