Pharmacist & Medical Misinformation Advocate
Public Health | Information Framing & Manipulation
North America | CANADA
Something I get very often in my work is someone saying, ‘Do you think this surgery is good for me or not?’, and I would answer, ‘according to the evidence, yes’. If I stop there, the person would be like, ‘Ok, have a good day.’ But then if you ask more questions like, why are you asking me this, usually, something that comes up is, ‘well, you know, I know someone who did have this surgery and it actually did not help them at all, or it made it worse, or it didn’t work or it ended up costing them so much money.’ That’s the core of the problem. I can give tons of data to that person, but it won’t make much of a difference because for them it’s all about an anecdote. You know, like my neighbour or my mom or my aunt. So much of our decision-making comes from testimonials and anecdotes of people that seem like we can relate to.