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Doctors, patients and the theory of games March 4, 2007

Posted by Sharath Rao in economics, humor, life, science, statistics.
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Here is a not so surprising observation. The funniest part is the first and last sentence.

In order to avoid pains of the heart, men will suffer pains of pretty much every other body part. A new study out of Scotland’s University of Sterling reports that men will withstand more pain without complaint when they are being tortured by a woman rather than a man. In the experimental setup, a 21-year-old woman dressed in a skirt and high heels put pressure on the chests of college males. The boys reported much higher pain thresholds than they did when a male researcher turned up the pressure. The researchers say the males may have been trying to appear macho in front of the woman. They also allow for the possibility that the men were just distracted from their suffering by a hot chick in skimpy clothing. The results worry the researchers, who said they are concerned male hospital patients may underreport their pain to female doctors and nurses.

If you are a female doctor, whats your experience been with male vs. female patients with respect to reporting pain ? And what about male doctors ? Sadiq, Ashwini …??

~~~

On 2005 Nobel Laureate Thomas Schelling on page 3 of this article ( does not make him a page 3 celebrity 😉 ).

His most significant work is his book The Strategy of Conflict (1960) which introduced the concept of a “focal point,” now known as a “Schelling point.” The idea addresses the phenomenon whereby, in the absence of communication, there exists a conclusion they reach if they think about what is natural, special, or relevant to them both.

This insight arose out of a personal experience Schelling had early in his career. He was driving from San Diego to New Hampshire with two friends, and was separated from one of them in a remote area of Texas. They found each other by chance, but immediately decided to develop a plan should hey become separated again. Without consulting each other, each friend intuitively decided a meeting location – Head Post office – no city has more than one, it can be reached by public transportation, and their mothers had insisted they stop and check for mail in several cities. It was the situation’s focal point.

We can relate to that, can’t we ? If your and friend lose ways in a medium sized amusement part that has only one entrance/exit, that is the best place to wait for her/him – rather than searching hoping she/he went in a certain direction and such.

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Half-serious :

Empirical studies are all good, but not to be used to demonstrate the effectiveness of empirical studies 😉 ..is that not a big like believing that a certain book is the word of god because that is what the book says.

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Comments»

1. promotingblogs.com - March 4, 2007

Doctors, patients and the theory of games

Here is a not so surprising observation. The funniest part is the first and last sentence: In order to avoid pains of the heart, men will suffer pains of pretty much every other body part. A new study out of Scotland’s University of Sterling repo…

2. Ashwini - March 8, 2007

underreport ! I wish,I guess nobody felt macho when I was around since I can’t recall the number of times I’v looked at my watch showing ungodly [interestingly,mostly 03:00]hours when I’v been on call [& been called] for vague aches & pains 😦 This,not neccessarily by patients of any particular sex.
I guess the skirts did the trick,not the sex of the dr.
Guess we should try getting male drs. to don the same attire,just to prove[or disprove] a point 😉


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