Tversky and Koehler's support theory attempts to explain why probability judgments are affected by the manner in which formally similar events are described. Support theory suggests that as the explicitness of a description increases, an event will be judged to be more likely. In the present experiment, experienced decision-makers from large, international accounting firms were given case-specific information about an audit client and asked to provide a series of judgments regarding the perceived likelihood of events. Unpacking a hypothesis into four (...) formally equivalent hypotheses more than doubled its perceived likelihood. These results are largely consistent with support theory, extending its generalizability to applied contexts involving business professionals. Further, the paper finds that task-specific factors, a previously untested area, can also affect support theory interpretations. (shrink)
In mid-1996, the United States Supreme Court agreed to hear arguments and rule on two lower court cases that would, if upheld, legalize physician-assisted suicide in twelve states, including California. At about the same time, at a national meeting dealing with this controversial topic, several participants from the San Francisco Bay Area got together to ask, Based on the old principle of the suggestion was made that the local ethics committee network might be interested in developing guidelines for the care (...) of patients at the end of life in the unlikely event that laws would change by Supreme Court action. Thus the coordinator of the Bay Area Network of Ethics Committees (BANEC) and several BANEC members began to discuss this question. (shrink)
All treatments, even those labeled as supportive, have burdens as well as benefits. Patients and their surrogates have the right to finally decide whether the offered treatment's cost-benefit calculation is acceptable.