Suppose a horrifying and detestable disease is about to hit “The Six” (AKA Toronto) and YOU have been put in charge of preparing to handle the incoming terror. Stashed in your back pocket is all the science you could possibly need and two possible choices. The only question is…which one will you choose?
In a group of 600 people, your choices are:
A) Save 200 people
B) Ensure a 1 out of 3 chance of saving all 600, but have a 2 out of 3 chance of saving no-one
Ok, got your answer?
In a group of 600 more people, your choices are:
C) Let 400 people die
D) Have a 1 out of 3 chance of no one dying and a 2 out of 3 chance that 600 people will die
Got your answer? Read on.
If you’re in the majority, you picked options A and D. But… here’s the thing… options A and C are actually identical and options B and D are the same. I know… WTF, right?!?
It’s fascinating how people react in divergent ways simply as a result of how an idea is positioned.
Psychologists Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman conducted this study and found that with the first question, 72% of respondents picked option A, while in the second question, 78% of the respondents picked option D. Why? Well, it’s because options A and D are framed with the number of lives saved, while option B and C are framed with the number of lives lost. It’s simple but profound. Simply by shifting how things are positioned and framed, people have different and more importantly, predictable reactions!
In many facets of life and business, getting your ideas across is highly important. The key to an effective message is to make sure you focus, deliberately and conscientiously, on how you shape it. Framing is important…it could even save lives.