Archive for May 1st, 2019

Cancer ads: The power of anecdotes over hard data ……

May 1, 2019

Yesterday, we channeled the results of a study that found that patients facing major health challenges often select their course of treatment based on isolated success stories they might hear rather than hard data.

Specifically, the study found that when a success story was used to “validate” a low success rate treatment, patients would ignore or dismiss the hard scientific data and be swayed by the anecdote – even if the case history was a remote outlier, not a general case.

Deep in selective attention mode, my eye caught an opinion piece in the WSJ:


The author’s punch line:

“The multibillion-dollar cancer treatment industry appeals to emotion in misleading ads … mounting  less a war on cancer than a war on truth —and on vulnerable consumers.”