he key to reduce action bias probably is to define the norm and “teach” it’s social acceptance. And also, we need to create a culture that reduces the need to deviate from the norm as well.
It is not a brand new and shiny idea, but it is a breakthrough article published back in 2005 by Azar, Ofer, and others — “Action bias among elite soccer goalkeepers: The case of penalty kicks” that analyzed 286 penalty kicks and finds out that the optimal strategy for goalkeepers is to stay in the gate’s center and to not move from that position. Almost always, however, goalkeepers jump left or right. Further, the authors explain that omission bias here is reversed, because the norm is inverted – to act rather than to choose inaction.
Can we look through the same lens onto how health care services are provided, and how pharmaceutical businesses operate? Probably – yes! We do see that action bias is sometimes leading physicians to prescribe unnecessary medical tests and medicines, especially when patients are severely demanding these tests and prescriptions. But in the end, driven by irrationality, we add costs to health care budgets.
We see many times that even large pharmaceutical companies to engage into a development project and complicated deals even if they know that many other competitors will have the same product on the market with similar or same timelines. Hence, reducing the potential for earnings due to severe competition and rapid price erosion.
Read the full-text article “Action bias among elite soccer goalkeepers: The case of penalty kicks.“