# The plural of anecdote is not data

A common way anecdotal evidence becomes unscientific is through fallacious reasoning such as the Post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy, the human tendency to assume that if one event happens after another, then the first must be the cause of the second. Another fallacy involvesinductive reasoning. For instance, if an anecdote illustrates a desired conclusion rather than a logical conclusion, it is considered a faulty orhasty generalization.[10] For example, here is anecdotal evidence presented as proof of a desired conclusion:

"There's abundant proof that drinking water cures cancer. Just last week I read about a girl who was dying of cancer. After drinking water she was cured."

Anecdotes like this do not prove anything.[11] In any case where some factor affects the probability of an outcome, rather than uniquely determining it, selected individual cases prove nothing; e.g. "my grandfather smoked 40 a day until he died at 90" and "my sister never went near anyone who smoked but died of lung cancer". Anecdotes often refer to the exception, rather than the rule: "Anecdotes are useless precisely because they may point to idiosyncratic responses."[12] Even when many anecdotes are collected to prove a point, "The plural of anecdote is not data." (Roger Brinner)

## Notes:

How anecdotal evidence proves nothing.

Folksonomies: statistics logical fallacy logic

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/food and drink/beverages/non alcoholic beverages/bottled water (0.448487)
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Concepts:
Evidence (0.971964): dbpedia | freebase
Anecdotal evidence (0.936214): dbpedia | freebase
Critical thinking (0.927780): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc | yago