Table_1_More Information = Less Aggression? Impact of Information Asymmetry on Chinese Patients' Aggression.xlsx

2019-05-22T13:15:11Z (GMT) by Yuepei Xu Wen He

Background: Information asymmetry is a widely studied economic phenomenon. It refers to the situation in which one group in a transaction has more information than the other. Nowadays, information asymmetry has been studied not only as a financial topic but also as a potential reason for essential social problems.

Objective: To take Chinese doctor–patient relationship as an example and investigate the relationship among information asymmetry, trust level, and aggression behavior using an experimental design.

Methods: A total of 44 undergraduates (information asymmetry group, N = 22, 5 males, 17 females, mean age = 18.95, SD = 0.18; information symmetry group, N = 22, 7 males, 15 females, mean age = 19.27, SD = 0.18) took part in our experiment. Different slides and guidance were used to create a virtual information asymmetry situation, and we use the Wake Forest Physician Trust Scale (WFPTS) and the hot sauce allocation paradigm to measure their trust level and aggression, respectively.

Results: Participants in the information asymmetry group allocated significantly more hot sauce to the doctor (p <.005, d = 1.09) and displayed significantly lower trust level (p < 0.05, d = −0.78) than the control group. Patients' trust level had a significant mediating effect (95% confidence interval [−1.39, –0.05]).

Conclusion: Asymmetric information may arouse patients' aggression and lower their trust in doctors. Patients' trust level is also a significant partial mediator between their aggression and information asymmetry. The current study reinforces the urgent need for information openness in the Chinese medical system.