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Hello, everyone,

Anchoring bias describes the cognitive error you make when you tend to give more weight to information arriving early in a situation compared to information arriving later regardless of the relative quality or relevance of that initial information.

Whatever data is presented to you first when you start to look at a situation can form an “anchor” and it becomes significantly more challenging to alter your mental course away from this anchor than it logically should be. 

A classic example of anchoring bias in emergency medicine is “triage bias,” where whatever the first impression you develop, or are given, about a patient tends to influence all subsequent providers seeing that patient.

For example, imagine two patients presenting for emergency care with aching jaw pain that occasionally extends down to their chest.

Differences in how the intake providers label the chart “jaw pain” vs. “chest pain,” for example create anchors that might result in significant differences in how the patients are treated.

I’m not sure if the underlined part above as it stands is grammatically correct, especially for the usage of ‘whatever’.

1. If that is correct, I parse that the ‘whatever’ above as a fused relative adjective or a determiner.

2. If that isn’t so, I guess that might be amended as follows;

“whatever the first impression (that you develop, or are given, about a patient) is, it tends ~ ” (‘whatever’ as a fused relative pronoun leading a concessive clause)

I would appreciate it, if you let me know your valuable opinions about this issue.

*source; from a local textbook

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Hi, Deepcosmos,

@deepcosmos posted:

A classic example of anchoring bias in emergency medicine is “triage bias,” where whatever the first impression you develop, or are given, about a patient tends to influence all subsequent providers seeing that patient.

I’m not sure if the underlined part above as it stands is grammatically correct, especially for the usage of ‘whatever’.

1. If that is correct, I parse that the ‘whatever’ above as a fused relative adjective or a determiner.

2. If that isn’t so, I guess that might be amended as follows;

“whatever the first impression (that you develop, or are given, about a patient) is, it tends ~ ” (‘whatever’ as a fused relative pronoun leading a concessive clause)

If "whatever" is a fused relative, then it has pronominal value and clashes with "the first impression."

You can use (2), where "whatever" is the subject complement of "the first impression..." within the adverbial clause of concession (no matter what that first impression is).

Alternatively, you can use "whatever" as a determiner, in which case it will be synonymous with "any," but in that case you will have to eliminate the article "the":

- A classic example of anchoring bias in emergency medicine is “triage bias,” where whatever (=any) first impression you develop, or are given, about a patient tends to influence all subsequent providers seeing that patient.

- A classic example of anchoring bias in emergency medicine is “triage bias,” where whatever (=any) impression you first develop, or are given, about a patient tends to influence all subsequent providers seeing that patient.

Last edited by Gustavo, Co-Moderator

If "whatever" is a fused relative, then it has pronominal value and clashes with "the first impression."

You can use (2), where "whatever" is the subject complement of "the first impression..." within the adverbial clause of concession (no matter what that first impression is).

Alternatively, you can use "whatever" as a determiner, in which case it will be synonymous with "any," but in that case you will have to eliminate the article "the":

- A classic example of anchoring bias in emergency medicine is “triage bias,” where whatever (=any) first impression you develop, or are given, about a patient tends to influence all subsequent providers seeing that patient.

- A classic example of anchoring bias in emergency medicine is “triage bias,” where whatever (=any) impression you first develop, or are given, about a patient tends to influence all subsequent providers seeing that patient.

Hi, Gustavo, appreciate you've blown off my questions.

Alternatively, you can use "whatever" as a determiner, in which case it will be synonymous with "any," but in that case you will have to eliminate the article "the":

- A classic example of anchoring bias in emergency medicine is “triage bias,” where whatever (=any) first impression you develop, or are given, about a patient tends to influence all subsequent providers seeing that patient.

- A classic example of anchoring bias in emergency medicine is “triage bias,” where whatever (=any) impression you first develop, or are given, about a patient tends to influence all subsequent providers seeing that patient.

Hi, Gustavo, by the way, in case the 'whatever' above means 'any', 'a determiner' or 'a fused relative adjective' for it is in fact the same terminology, isn't it?

Last edited by deepcosmos

In A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language, Quirk et al refer to that "whatever" preceding a noun as a determiner that introduces a free relative clause. These are some of the examples they give:

- Whatever book a Times reviewer praises sells well.
- Whatever book you see is yours to take.
- Whatever books I have in the house are borrowed from the public library.

In A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language, Quirk et al refer to that "whatever" preceding a noun as a determiner that introduces a free relative clause. These are some of the examples they give:

- Whatever book a Times reviewer praises sells well.
- Whatever book you see is yours to take.
- Whatever books I have in the house are borrowed from the public library.

Hi, Gustavo, appreciate again.

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