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(17,671 posts)
5. They can if used right. But how often does that actually happen?
Sun Dec 11, 2011, 05:04 PM
Dec 2011

Mostly what they predict is someone's personal opinion.

How many times have the same numbers been flung back and forth? How many times have the same charts and graphs been posted? Statistics are just data that we might use to form an opinion. Anecdotes are just data of another kind.

Statistics can help predict trends in large groups if you can figure out what you're supposed to be counting. Anecdotes help us predict our own individual behaivor. They prompt us to ask , "What would I do in this situation?" or "Why would anyone do a thing like that?" or What should they have done?". It seems to me that's how the best threads start.

Spam is spam whether it's columns of numbers, peer review studies, or news reports. Anecdotes are no better or worse than any other source. It all depends on what you do with it, and why.

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