On basing decisions on myths and anecdotes

The study of marketing is so young that we would be arrogant to believe that we know it all, or even that we have got the basics right yet. We can draw an analogy with medical practice. For centuries this noble profession has attracted some of the best and brightest people in society, who were typically far better educated than other professionals. Yet for 2,500 years these experts enthusiastically and universally taught and practised bloodletting (a generally useless and often fatal ‘cure’). Only vet recently, about 80 years ago, medical professional started doing the very opposite, and today blood transfusions save numerous lives every day. Marketing manager operate a bit like medieval doctors — working on anecdotal experience, impressions and myth-based explanations.

Excerpt from: The Choice Factory: 25 behavioural biases that influence what we buy by Richard Shotton