On how people responded not to the odds but to the way the odds were described to them

On how people responded not to the odds but to the way the odds were described to them

Lung cancer proved to be a handy example. Lung cancer doctors and patients in early 1980s faced two unequally unpleasant options: surgery or radiation. Surgery was more likely to extend your life, but, unlike radiation, it came with the small risk of instant death. When you told people that they had a 90 percent chance of surviving surgery, 82 percent of patients opted for surgery. But when you told them that they had a 10 percent chance of dying from the surgery — which was of course just a different way of putting the same odds — only 54 percent chose the surgery. People facing a life-and-death decision responded not to the odds but to the way the odds were described to them.

Excerpt from: The Undoing Project: A Friendship that Changed the World by Michael Lewis

Facebook Comments

Product Geek?

Join over 5,000 product geeks and get one email every Monday containing the best excerpts I've read over the previous week.