Is the glass half-full or half-empty? It all depends on how you frame it. Take a full glass of water and pour half of it out, and 69 per cent of people will say the glass is half-empty. Take an empty glass and fill it up to half-way, 88 per cent will say it is half-full.
And compare, ‘Smoking increases your chances of death in the next 20 years from 1 per cent to 1.3 per cent’ with ‘Smoking increases your chances of death in the next 20 years by 30 per cent’.
In both instances: identical data, different presentation, very different impact.
The human brain is a tremendously powerful thing. It has put a man on the moon and a toaster in every kitchen. Yet it is not quite as logical ...