# Make a choice

I’ll write the logic of this post below, but lets start with an exercise where you have to make choices. Ready?

First one:

You’re the leader of a country and your population is facing a new recently found deadly disease. Your medical staff gave you two options of test treatments to apply on 600 people:

This is what we’re facing. You have to choose one option.

Done? Take note of your choice.

Second one:

Now, a contingent country is facing similar problem. The leader of that country asked you for advice. His medical staff presented him with the following treatment options:

Again, You have to choose one option.

Done? Take note of your choice.

In 1981, Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman explored how different phrasing affected participants responses to a choice in a hypothetical life and death situation. Participants were asked to choose between two treatments for 600 people affected by a deadly disease. Treatment A was predicted to result in 400 deaths, whereas treatment B had a 33% chance that no one would die but a 66% chance that everyone would die. This choice was then presented to participants either with positive framing (e.g.: how many people would live), or with negative framing (e.g.: how many people would die).

As you can see, both options have the same outcome for Treatment A and Treatment B. However, Treatment A was chosen by 72% of participants when it was presented with positive framing (“saves 200 lives”) dropping to only 22% when the same choice was presented with negative framing (“400 people will die”).