Cherry -picking is a selection bias in which the actor only chooses those people or things that are favorable, avoiding anything or anyone that is less desirable. From a person's point of view, cherry-picking makes sense since it maximizes benefit and minimizes cost. However, it results in an uneven distribution that favors one group over another.

Situations where cherry-picking is undesirable:

(1) shared responsibility, as in healthcare

(2) data analysis


In situations of shared responsibility, the belief is that any benefit or burden in a population is shared equally among providers. With cherry-picking a better positioned provider can select patients with favorable characteristics, leaving other providers difficulty, unpleasant or costly patients.


In situations of data analysis, selecting only those results that favor one's point of view rather than dispassionately looking at all of the data. This introduces bias into the analysis

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