The Use of Recipe Knowledge in Medicine

By Victoria A. Shaffer and Leigh S. Shaffer.

Published by The Technology Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The term recipe knowledge refers to the attempt to transfer practical abilities, or “know how,” from a skilled or knowledgeable performer to a novice by offering step-by-step directions for accomplishing a specific task (Shaffer, 1998). In the last twenty years, the medical community has been developing diagnostic and treatment tools—such as decision support systems or algorithms—which are, in essence, recipe knowledge for physicians. This paper will explore the literature on the development of the decision support systems as a case study of the deliberate construction of recipe knowledge. In addition, the paper will focus on the appropriate uses, and potential abuses, of these aids among physicians. The paper will also explore concerns about so-called “Docs in a box,” computer software marketed to laypersons that are thought to encourage self-diagnosis and self-treatment among lay persons.

Keywords: Recipe Knowledge, Decision Aid, Decision Support System

The International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, Volume 2, Issue 7, pp.73-80. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.107MB).

Dr Victoria A. Shaffer

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Wichita State University, Wichita, Kansas, USA

Victoria Shaffer received her PhD in Quantitative Psychology from Ohio State University. Her research is focused on identifying factors that impact our judgments and decisions in the medical, legal, economic, and aviation fields. Specifically, recent projects have examined the impact of technology on decision making.

Dr. Leigh S. Shaffer

Professor of Sociology, Department of Anthropology and Sociology, West Chester University, West Chester, Pennsylvania, USA


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