I recall reading somewhere that Melinda Snodgrass was unhappy about how Brent Spiner objected to her story that gave Data a lot more emotions. While I do sympathize with an actor wanting to remain consistent with previous performances, he was the one who pushed to use the emotion chip in Star Trek: Generations to give him more to do. I think we can all agree that whatever Melinda had in mind for Data in this episode probably wouldn't have been as glaring or over the top as it was in Generations.
Remember, "Generations" came years later, and by that point the writers and Spiner all felt they'd kind of exhausted other avenues with Data, and the chip was the next logical step. Beginning of season 3 was too soon for a lot of what Snodgrass was suggesting...