Interesting takeaway re bedside manner

Not certain that lawyers will benefit from comparing client interactions to colonoscopies, but here’s some interesting advice via Lawyerist:


The wisdom imparted by colonoscopies

One of Kahneman’s data points was surveys of people who underwent colonoscopies. For some patients, the tube was removed as soon as possible when the needed information was gathered. Others, after the examination was complete, had the tube left in for a while without it being moved (thus lessening the discomfort). Only then was it removed. The second set of patients rated the total experience as significantly less painful than the first set of patients, despite the fact that the procedure lasted longer and the total amount of very uncomfortable periods was the same. Similar results are found with people asked to place their hand in uncomfortably cold water. 60 seconds at a consistent temperature led to significantly worse memories of the experience than 90 seconds with the water warmed slightly during the last 30 seconds.

Kahneman concluded that duration of experience and “amount” of suffering really don’t matter. The highest or lowest points, and the way the experience ended, matter much, much more. I have a strong feeling this is why so many lawyers speak fondly of law school, and the farther in time they are from it, the fonder they are. It also explains why so many lawyers complain about how miserable they are, but change nothing. Their experiencing selves are unhappy, but their remembering selves re-write history to make it not seem so bad in retrospect.


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