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I'm drawing a blank on a word **Thanks for the input**


PeterMP

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Sorry, but I've drawn a complete blank on a word and my wife wasn't any help.

What is called when you want to make an arguement based on personal experience vs. actual statistics? In my mind, it is a word that carries a negative connotation because any given person's personal experience is likely to be limited and not an actual account of the total population/experiences.

For example, if a person has had "bad luck" and been victimized by crime in an area on a few occassions they might argue that it is a less safe area than some other area, but a look at statistics that take into account everybody's experience shows the other area is safer. If the person makes the arguement that the one area is less safe based on their personal experience and ignoring the statistics what do call what they are doing?

**EDIT***

This was for a grant (see the discussion below), which I learned today is going to be funded. So thanks for the input.

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To follow up, in my experience it has been good in most cases to get the real data and not rely on anecdotal evidence. Case in point: About 10 years ago I worked at a building supply company. The owner started tracking the number of loads that delivery drivers took. After looking at a couple of months numbers, we were floored to find that the most productive driver was one that we thought was the worst. I guess we got that impression because he walked slow, talked slow. The thing was, he was steady all day long.

It was a good lesson to learn.

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It all depends all forms are useful for different things. Both qualitative and quantitative data can be very helpful and answer different questions. Correlations are the most fun, but sometimes the most meaningless.

It's cool to have a nemesis :cheers:

I'm using ancedotal evidence to make the arguement that somebody should fund me to collect actual data to draw quantitative conclusions. I think the fact that I can at least make the arguement that I'm an expert in the field adds weight to the ancedotal evidence (e.g. a cop making the arguement based on personal experience in the example I described above vs. an avg. joe).

I don't honestly trust ancedotal evidence much, but in this case its what I have.

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I'm using ancedotal evidence to make the arguement that somebody should fund me to collect actual data to draw quantitative conclusions. I think the fact that I can at least make the arguement that I'm an expert in the field adds weight to the ancedotal evidence (e.g. a cop making the arguement based on personal experience in the example I described above vs. an avg. joe).

I don't honestly trust ancedotal evidence much, but in this case its what I have.

Just win, baby.

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Is this for a grant?

I believe you do hard science. Could you frame your anecdotal evidence as case studies? Or is this, trust me I've come through many times before and investing your money with me is a good idea.

Yes, its for a grant. Technically, I'm a biochemist, but really do computational biology/bioinformatics.

This is more of the first. It is me saying, 'There are multiple people that have tried to address this issue, but in my opinion they have all failed because they have not actually come up with a statistically robust manner to address the problem, and here is my personal experience with this problem and their solutions to indicate that they do not have a statisitcally robust solution to the problem. (in my case, the solutions out there likely failed (I can't state with certainity that they failed)) so in order to address what works and does not work we need a better basic understanding of the problem and the solutions in a more statistically robust manner. Please, give me money so that I can do a large scale study in a well controlled/understood manner to understand, which solutions actually work and which ones don't and why and why not.'

The second would work for a very small set of people w/ respect to the funding agencies, especially right now.

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To follow up, in my experience it has been good in most cases to get the real data and not rely on anecdotal evidence. Case in point: About 10 years ago I worked at a building supply company. The owner started tracking the number of loads that delivery drivers took. After looking at a couple of months numbers, we were floored to find that the most productive driver was one that we thought was the worst. I guess we got that impression because he walked slow, talked slow. The thing was, he was steady all day long.

It was a good lesson to learn.

Excuse me, but did you just provide anecdotal evidence in an attempt to support your case that anecdotal evidence is not useful to support a case? :)

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Gotcha. Anecdotal evidence could work, but I might try a correlational concept such as...

I'd go with a correlational resume approach. Relate your past experience working with big issues that gave others headaches (that these people would understand to be headaches) to underscore your problem solving ability and success rate at tackling big issues/difficult problems.

The biggest question I ask myself when writing grants is... are the people reviewing the grants, the money people in the field or are they simply money people. If in your case they're scientists than hit them hard with numbers and dazzle them with computational riddles you've unraveled. If they are lay people or foundation/government types... than soft shoeing it with anecdotal is best.

You probably don't need my advice on this (so ignore it), but the biggest advice I can give is be brief. Most grant reviewers I've talked to don't want to go through a book. They want to know the W's, why you're the guy best suited to do it, and what successes you've had.

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Gotcha. Anecdotal evidence could work, but I might try a correlational concept such as...

I'd go with a correlational resume approach. Relate your past experience working with big issues that gave others headaches (that these people would understand to be headaches) to underscore your problem solving ability and success rate at tackling big issues/difficult problems.

The biggest question I ask myself when writing grants is... are the people reviewing the grants, the money people in the field or are they simply money people. If in your case they're scientists than hit them hard with numbers and dazzle them with computational riddles you've unraveled. If they are lay people or foundation/government types... than soft shoeing it with anecdotal is best.

You probably don't need my advice on this (so ignore it), but the biggest advice I can give is be brief. Most grant reviewers I've talked to don't want to go through a book. They want to know the W's, why you're the guy best suited to do it, and what successes you've had.

Grants for science tend to be reviewed by scientist w/ at least some knowledge of the field.

I think the biggest issue for grants to the federal grant agencies is does it make sense to fund your project based on the cost (bang for the buck), does your plan for addressing the problem make sense, do you have the expertise/resources to actually address the issue (this obviously is affected by what you've done/who you are).

Obviously, a person's name/networks can carry some weight, but right now there are people w/ good reputations losing funding.

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Sorry, but I've drawn a complete blank on a word and my wife wasn't any help.

What is called when you want to make an arguement based on personal experience vs. actual statistics? In my mind, it is a word that carries a negative connotation because any given person's personal experience is likely to be limited and not an actual account of the total population/experiences.

For example, if a person has had "bad luck" and been victimized by crime in an area on a few occassions they might argue that it is a less safe area than some other area, but a look at statistics that take into account everybody's experience shows the other area is safer. If the person makes the arguement that the one area is less safe based on their personal experience and ignoring the statistics what do call what they are doing?

It would have been much faster to simply describe the phrase you were looking for by saying "99% of the arguments in the tailgate are based on ________ evidence?"

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Excuse me, but did you just provide anecdotal evidence in an attempt to support your case that anecdotal evidence is not useful to support a case? :)

He used anecdotal evidence (the story of the building supply company) of someone using hard data (tracking loads moved by drivers) to refute anecdotal evidence (observation that a driver who walked and talked slow) that led to an incorrect conclusion (slow walking/talking driver was the worst)...

:twitch:

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