There are any number of psychology and behavioral economics books you can read to better understand (or at least accept) the weird relationship between what people care about and what actions they take as a result. I recommend "Thinking Fast And Slow" by Daniel Kahneman, the father of behavioral economics, or "Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion" by Robert Cialdini. Both are excellent and entertaining reads regardless of your interest in electric vehicles.
One well-known phenomenon that is likely relevant is the Tragedy of the Commons, in which people tend to overuse and destroy a shared resource to avoid being the "sucker" who enables others to free-ride. If you ask someone "will you pay $10 to help save everybody", they might decline, but if you instead say "everybody is kicking in $10 each to save the planet, will you join them?" they're far more likely to be willing to pay. Same end goal, same dollar figure, just different psychology.
But to answer your question, humans evolved to deal with immediate threats, like tigers and spiders. During most of our evolution, we just didn't live long enough to care about things 10-20 years in the future. So as a species, we struggle with future threats and statistics. That's why there is a lot of effort in the medical community to figure out how to convey things like relative risk to people in a way they understand.
To be clear, it's not much of a mystery why people care but won't pay. The mystery is how you get people to do what's actually in their best interests in cases like this.
The most likely explanation is that the three buckets were something like 77.3%, 9.3%, and 19.4%, which does sum to 100%, but all three round down in the simplified presentation. As a side note, surveys like this have a margin of error that is typically a few percent, so it's totally pointless to argue over differences less than that.
This is an Urban Myth. Beta was not the better format overall. It lost mostly because Beta tapes only had a capacity of one hour, while VHS offered two hours, which meant VHS enabled movie recording and rental. Sony's pricing and advertising didn't help beta, either. Some reviews thought beta had better video quality, but some thought VHS superior, so any video quality advantage was modest at best.