Homeopathy 2006; 95(04): 237-244
DOI: 10.1016/j.homp.2006.07.008
Education and Debate
Copyright © The Faculty of Homeopathy 2006

Heuristics and bias in homeopathy[ * ]

K Souter

Subject Editor:
Further Information

Publication History

Received26 June 2006

accepted24 July 2006

Publication Date:
21 December 2017 (online)


The practice of Homeopathy ought to be strictly logical. In the Organon Samuel Hahnemann gives the impression that the unprejudiced observer should be able to follow an algorithmic route to the simillimum in every case. Judgement and Decision Research, however, indicates that when people grapple with complex systems like homeopathy they are more likely to use heuristics or empirical rules to help them reach a solution. Thus Hahnemann's concept of the unprejudiced observer is virtually impossible to attain. There is inevitable bias in both case-taking and remedy selection. Understanding the types of bias may enable the practitioner to reduce his/her own bias.

Based on a lecture given on 2 February 2006 at the Royal London Homoeopathic Hospital