What Behavioral Economics Can Teach Us About the Patient Experience


Engaging The Patient

Contributor: Courtney Hummel – Senior Client Services Specialist, Emmi Solutions

Courtney Hummel Courtney Hummel

In his TEDtalk, “The Riddle of Experience vs. Memory”, behavioral economist Daniel Kahneman tells a short story about a man listening to a symphony. The man experiences such joy throughout the entire performance , intensely feeling and relating to the music. As the recording meandered to its finale, the music suddenly stopped, replaced by a horrible screeching sound. This ruined the entire symphony, the man solemnly remembered. But, had it? He experienced 20 minutes of glorious music, jarred by a few seconds of madness. But those 20 minutes were now irrelevant; the experience was ruined, replaced with a marred memory.

One key takeaway from this scenario is the human memory is significantly and consistently biased. We must understand that a memory is merely the end result of an experience and the processing of that experience. It’s helpful to…

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