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A question of intent: Application of the knobe effect in teaching ethics

Bertolami, Charles N; Opazo, Cristián; Janal, Malvin N
PURPOSE/OBJECTIVES/OBJECTIVE:The Knobe effect refers to a measurable tendency among people to believe that undesirable side effects are brought about intentionally while desirable side effects are brought about unintentionally. People blame decision-makers for bad outcomes but do not credit them for good outcomes. The purpose of this study was to determine if the same is true for dental students and whether, as health care practitioners, students might mistakenly expect a benefit-of-the-doubt entitlement for themselves that the public is unwilling to bestow when an outcome is bad. METHODS:Over three years, roughly 500 first-year dental students were posed two previously published standardized Knobe cases requiring a yes/no response. The survey was conducted as part of a classroom exercise with aggregated responses recorded digitally, anonymously, in real time. RESULTS:The Knobe phenomenon was confirmed among dental students but the effect was muted in comparison to that of the public. Dental students aligned with the general public in declining credit for a good outcome but not in attributing blame for a bad outcome. Overall, dental students' negative responses exceeded their positive responses for both questions-confirming the Knobe effect but also revealing that dental students were less willing to take a stance by positively assigning either praise or blame. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:Using an in-class survey instrument to demonstrate the Knobe effect among dental students may be one way of making more concrete an unjustified benefit-of-the-doubt entitlement these future professionals may otherwise expect for themselves.
PMID: 33793966
ISSN: 1930-7837
CID: 4831052

HEED: NYU's Mentor-Protégé Model of Dental Education

Bertolami, Charles N; Bloom, Elyse; McIntosh, John D
PMID: 33735583
ISSN: 2158-1797
CID: 4818062

Access to care: leveraging dental education

Bertolami, Charles N; Berne, Robert
If it is not a naive expectation for dentists who have been beneficiaries of public generosity to share their good fortune with the public that made it possible, there may be a rational basis for enhancing the role of dental education in improving access to oral health care by promoting-but not requiring-a voluntary service commitment after graduation commensurate with the magnitude of the subsidy received. Such an approach would be in accordance with the Institute of Medicine's report Improving Access to Oral Health Care for Vulnerable and Underserved Populations, but without the governmental coercion explicit in the report. A sustainable alternative proposal is made here, offering both greater options to students in the financing of their dental education and greater obligations for those students who accept state subsidies: providing tuition discounts for students of state-supported dental schools based not on past residency status but rather on a future commitment to public service. This arrangement could be good public policy that might also help to create a culture in which dental students are given authentic options as part of a profession-wide ideology of public service. The result could well contribute to improved oral health care for the underserved.
PMID: 25362688
ISSN: 0022-0337
CID: 1343352

The ethics of managing incidental findings: Implications and challenges for the profession [Editorial]

Friedlander, Arthur H; Bertolami, Charles N
PMID: 25169990
ISSN: 0002-8177
CID: 1162962

The dental education bubble : are we ready for a LEED-style rating?

Bertolami, Charles N
ISSN: 2472-0062
CID: 1471712

Wound healing

Chapter by: Shetty, V; Bertolami, Charles
in: Peterson's principles of oral and maxillofacial surgery by Miloro, Michael; Peterson, Larry J (Eds)
Shelton, CT : People's Medical Pub. House-USA, 2012
pp. ?-?
ISBN: 1607951118
CID: 3853752

Developing men and women of science

Bertolami, Charles N
PMID: 22167933
ISSN: 1548-8578
CID: 155445

Access to Dental Care: Is There a Problem?

Bertolami CN
PMID: 21852641
ISSN: 0090-0036
CID: 155338

Research and Scholarship: Communication in an Era of Mistrust

Bertolami, Charles
ISSN: 0037-055x
CID: 3318292

Moving ethics curricula forward

Bertolami, C N
We do not really teach ethics, we teach about ethics - a subtle but crucial distinction. Ethics curricula are qualitatively inadequate to the extent that they focus on delivering content rather than on influencing lives. This article approaches ethics education from the perspective of 3 levels of learning: informative, formative, and transformative, and it asserts that conventional ethics courses confine themselves to informative learning but fail to transition effectively into the formative and transformative phases in which authentic behavioral change becomes plausible. Two assumptions are made: (1) that students are no more ethical than the man in the street and (2) people always can change for the better. Although arguable, it is safer to make these assumptions because only in doing so is it possible to avoid designing ethics curricula solely for the purpose of delivering information, and thereby underscoring the importance of transitioning students through all 3 levels of learning. Transformative learning in ethics must be experiential, requiring a conscious and volitional effort by educators to inculcate realistic but heroic expectations for professionals whose work intrinsically embodies elements of the heroic. This is not that difficult if we can help students see their own heroic potential. 2011 by Begell House, Inc
ISSN: 2151-805x
CID: 369542