To me, this topic opens up a whole can of worms. I agree that reporting the average yields is often times a much better way to report your reactions, and really the way it should be done. The 89% outlier when your averages are normally 50-70% just doesn't seem to be the right way to go about reporting things. Even in synthesis, most steps are done a few times, so it would be best to report the range. (I'll give that the first time you run a reaction, chances are your yield will be lower and it should improve)
From my perspective, I can get a feel for how you always want more material (to push forward to those precious intermediates at the end of your long synthesis), so you want
higher yields, so perhaps in some weird way that comes into our reporting, and by saying "I got a 90% yield" even if it was only once, makes people feel better as a chemist? Of course, if you're doing a new methodology, you want to tout high yields so people will use it, and in a synthesis you want high yields so people say it is a good synthesis.
There have been plenty of times when I have seen a very impressive step, that only proceeds in say 50% yield and I think "oh well that's not as good as it could be", but then when I think about "Oh hey they just 4 stereocenters with high selectivity!
" that 50% yield gets a lot better. I think it's in part human nature to think that 100% is the best, so you'd want to get as close to that as you can, even if it is at time a little disingenuous (which if you think about it maybe is a little sad that things have come to that).