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TorgoX (1933)

TorgoX
  sburkeNO@SPAMcpan.org
http://search.cpan.org/~sburke/

"Il est beau comme la retractilité des serres des oiseaux rapaces [...] et surtout, comme la rencontre fortuite sur une table de dissection d'une machine à coudre et d'un parapluie !" -- Lautréamont

Journal of TorgoX (1933)

Wednesday January 01, 2003
01:37 PM

A durational element

[ #9707 ]
Dear Log,

«[...] What Kahneman did was, randomly, to lengthen the procedure for half of the 682 patients with an extra terminal minute, in which the colonoscope, before being extracted, remained stationary. It was uncomfortable, but not terribly painful.

Very simply, those who had the extra minute (irrespective of how excruciating the earlier part of the operation had been) had a consistently more favourable reaction afterwards and were much more likely to elect for colonoscopy again, rather than barium and x-ray. Ask someone who didn't have the extra minute what it was like and they were likely to reply: "It was hell - like being raped by an unlubricated fire hose." Ask someone who did have the extra minute and the answer tended to be, "Not so bad".

There is, Kahneman deduced, a durational element in how we evaluate our experiences. The last level of pain, or pleasure, conditions what we remember of the whole event - our verdict on it, so to speak. For economists, this has useful applications in predicting decision-making, and the "shortcuts" most of us employ in the hundreds of such decisions we make every day. [...]»

--"Carry on up the colon: The man who won a Nobel prize for economics by sticking telescopic tubes up people's bottoms"

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  • Ask someone who did have the extra minute and the answer tended to be, "Not so bad".

    Does this study imply that if George W. Bush gets another term in office, I'll actually start to like him? What strange, fickle organisms we are.

    • Only if he doesn't do anything annoying, disturbing, or terrifying (other than being in office) during that term.
      • Only if he doesn't do anything annoying, disturbing, or terrifying (other than being in office) during that term.

        You mean aside from what he's already done?

        • Exactly: "those who had the extra minute (irrespective of how excruciating the earlier part of the operation had been) had a consistently more favourable reaction afterwards" (emphasis added).