How Did We Miss That?

Listen 48:45
Bigstock/weerapat

Bigstock/weerapat

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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