When I read this (via Ryan Sager) about the classic good cop/bad cop negotiating ploy:

BUT there was also a twist we did not address in our research, and in fact, would have been tough to do as we were studying people in “the wilds” of organizational life.  Their research shows that starting with a good cop and then using a bad cop was not effective, that the method only was effective for negotiating teams when the bad cop went first and the good cop followed.   So, this may mean it really should be called “The Bad Cop, Good Cop Technique.”

it brought to mind some famous studies of Daniel Kahneman on perception and the timing of pleasure and pain.  There is one you will never forget once you hear about it.  Proctologists randomly varied the way in which they administered a standard colonoscopy procedure.  Some patients received the usual treatment in which a camera was plunged into their rectum and then fished around for a few minutes.  The fishing around is extremely uncomfortable.

An experimental group received a treatment which was identical except that at the very end <you can do better than that Beavis> the camera was left in situ <ok that’s pretty good> for an extra 20 seconds or so.  The subjects were interviewed during the procedure and asked to report their level of pain, and after the procedure to report on the procedure overall.  As intended, those in the experimental group reported that the final 20 seconds were less painful than the main part of the procedure.  But the headline finding of the experiment was that those subjects receiving the longer treatment found the procedure overall to be more tolerable than the control group.

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