“Emotional asymmetry” in response to scientific data:
Doctors and patients alike find it easy to accept more cancer treatment on the basis of a study, Dr. Morrow said, but get scared when the data favor less treatment.
In the loose categorization scheme in my noggin, I’ll throw this in the same shoebox as the experiment of behavior economics that shows asymmetrical responses to medical risk, depending on whether the data are presented positively (“treatment will save the lives of 80 percent of patients”) or negatively (“20 percent of the patients will die”).
This also reminds me of the potential pitfalls in “bias to action” approaches to getting things done. “Bias to action” is indisputably beneficial in customer service, but there are some scenarios in which it yields negative results.