Faced with a life-changing decision and a great deal of uncertainty, do patients prefer to decide for themselves after being given all the facts? Or do they prefer a nudge in “the right direction” by their physician?
A new study shows that when we mentally tally expert opinions, we treat numeric predictions differently than those predicted by words. One of those expressions moves us towards a more extreme prediction offered by experts.
Paradoxically, for scientists, the more you express your uncertainty, the more likely you are to be trusted ... that is, to a point.
The use of self-reported behavior has been an Achilles heel of sorts, regarding the certainty of research outcomes. A new study shows not only that "self-reports" may be incorrect, but the degree of uncertainty introduced by them varies with the self-reporter's age, education and nationality.