Laser Eye Surgery and the ‘Sample Of One’ Theory

You may have heard of the ‘Sample of One’ theory, particularly if you have a background in psychology or the social sciences. It refers to the power of human interest stories in our decision-making. In the era of AI and fear over the loss of creativity that it could bring with it, human stories continue to resonate with all of us. This stands testament to our intrinsic human connection and just how much emotions can influence us.

For example, a 2019 study which aimed to compare how stories and facts trigger action-taking on climate change, found that “stories are more effective than informational narratives at promoting pro-environmental behaviour”. Pretty interesting, huh?

But, I can hear you asking, what does this have to do with Laser Eye Surgery? Well, everything!

Laser Eye Surgery – an emotional connection

For many people considering Laser Eye Surgery, the decision-making process will likely involve hours sitting at their computer researching the smallest details of the procedure. You may have already memorised every step in the treatment, weighed up the pros and cons of each clinic, and even taken a stab at some lengthy research papers.

Yet, the Sample of One theory suggests that just one human interest story could well be the deciding factor in your personal debate.

This might be a chance conversation with a stranger at a party, hearing about a friend of a friend who has just had Laser Eye Surgery, or even watching an interview with a celebrity who is screaming about the benefits of going under the laser. But one thing is clear: first-hand testimonials are often more effective at making up our minds than figures on a screen.

Of course, this is a generalisation and everyone’s journey to their chosen Laser Eye Surgery is unique. You may rest firmly in the “gut instinct” camp of Laser Eye Surgery patients who instinctively decide to take the plunge; however, as one of the leading independent clinics in the country, this certainly is a trend we have noticed.

Perhaps this is because we can get immediate answers to common questions like “Did it hurt?” or “Was it scary?”. Or perhaps we simply feel that information is more reliable when it comes from a friendly face than from a cold flat screen.

Either way, it is important to remember that the ‘Sample of One’ effect can also work the other way.

Sensationalism in the Media

Laser Eye Surgery has been around for around four decades. In this time, the procedure has continuously evolved, thanks to new developments and innovations, such as LASIK in 1999, PRESBYOND™ Laser Blended Vision in 2005, and ReLEx SMILE in 2008. This has both improved the safety and effectiveness of Laser Eye Surgery and helped make the life-changing treatment an option for more people than ever before.

Yet, despite this incredible evolution, sensationalism and misinformation can often be spotted in the media.

Today, Laser Eye Surgery has a success rate of over 99% – even higher at the best clinics! Furthermore, side effects continue to be minimised. Perhaps most importantly – and what many patients don’t realise – is that side effects that do occur, such as dry eyes and night vision disturbances, are overwhelmingly mild and resolve by themselves in a matter of weeks. Many side effects associated with Laser Eye Surgery are actually a natural part of the eye’s healing process and are nothing to worry about.

What’s more, the risk of blindness as a result of Laser Eye Surgery is almost non-existent. While your vision may be over- or under-corrected during your procedure, this is usually easily resolved with an enhancement procedure. At London Vision Clinic, we offer enhancement procedures free of charge to patients that we think would benefit from further correction.

Still, with all this information available, one case of ‘Laser Eye Surgery gone wrong’ is often enough to put a person off the procedure altogether. While this is understandable, perhaps it really is better to take the human story with the facts, after all.

If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of Laser Eye Surgery, get in touch with one of our friendly clinic coordinators. To find out if you could be suitable for treatment at London Vision Clinic, Book a Consultation to start your journey to clear, glasses-free vision today.