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Nugget of Knowledge: Left-digit bias

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Now in a new study, the Harvard Medical School has found what would appear to be this same bias in age and heart surgery

(WYTV) – You are more likely to buy something if the price is $4.99 rather than $5.

This is called the left digit bias. That penny counts if it puts you over the threshold to a new dollar amount.

Now in a new study, the Harvard Medical School has found what would appear to be this same bias in age and heart surgery.

Let’s say you’re 79 years old and need heart surgery. Perhaps the surgeon is going to put in a stent or even perform a bypass. The study found you are more likely to get it even though you could be just a few weeks from turning 80 years old.

However, if you just turned 80, doctors are less willing to operate. Why?

It’s the left-side bias. If you are 79, you are still in your 70’s. You’re younger.

Once you cross that threshold and become 80, sorry, you’re older and lumped in with everyone else in their 80’s.

Was there a difference between 77 and 79? No. You got the operation.

Is there any difference between 81 and 83? No. You may not have gotten the operation.

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