The Science of Success

How This Simple Change In Wording Made 50% of Doctors Choose a More Dangerous Medical Procedure

July 13, 2016
Do you think that your doctor makes their decisions based on data or on trivial factors such as how a sentence is worded?

Do you think that your decisions are typically rational and based on the facts?
In this episode we discuss how a twist of phrase made 50% of doctors choose a more dangerous medical procedure, what explains an 88% difference in organ donations in two similar countries, and how experts can make vastly different choices based on the same exact data as we explore the Framing Bias.

As Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman puts it in his book Thinking Fast and Slow: 
"It is somewhat worrying that the officials who make decisions that affect everyone’s health can be swayed by such a superficial manipulation."

The way things are presented can have huge implications for your decisions without you even realizing it and this all operates at a subconscious level beyond your conscious experience.
Behavioral economist Richard Thaler explains it this way: “The false assumption is that almost all people, almost all of the time, make choices that are in their best interest."
This episode is going to focus on drilling down and understanding a specific cognitive bias – a mental model – to help you start building a toolkit of mental models that will enable you to better understand reality.
Framing bias – along with Priming, which we covered last episode, and Anchoring – which we will cover in a future episode – are all cognitive biases that you want to know, understand, and be aware of – so that you can add them to your mental toolbox.