newristics

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Understand the barriers and bottlenecks which limit desired behaviors of patients and HCPs in the pharmaceutical industry and how messaging boosted by heuristic science can effectively influence any stakeholder audience.

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When You're Holding A Hammer, Everything Can Look Like A Nail

Michael Hayden
05 AUG, 2019

Have you ever used a piece of paper to prop up a wobbly table or an old shirt as a rag? These illustrate examples of overcoming functional fixedness. Sometimes we get stuck in familiar patterns of thinking for a problem leading us to only see the intended use of an object as the only possible use, despite it have other potential functions. A person suffering from functional fixedness only sees a shirt as a piece of apparel, when it could be a rag, or a chew toy for the dog.

Functional fixedness occurs in a medical context as well. A person may originally be exposed to an aspirin because of one reason, let’s say to reduce their fever. However, aspirin is commonly used off-label to prevent heart attacks and strokes. However, the patient who was originally exposed to this still associates it within the domain of treating a fever and instead opts for a more expensive medication to treat their heart attack and stroke.