A story, a skilful plot, a passion to embrace, a life that’s value added. This is a sentence in simple with a statistical law to consider. Now, if we pick in general a group of 30 individuals and ask their preference of a ‘true story’ or a ‘scientific concept’, and the results turns out that 20 of them chose for the story. The conclusion we can draw, is that most people like listening to stories.
Have we wondered why we are inclined to make such conclusions? The underlining principle behind this is the presence of the law of small numbers. That we tend to pay more attention to the content of messages than to information about their reliability. It is much easier for us to accept the simplicity of the message in our example about the people preference to story than justify the data.
The Gates Foundation once conducted a survey of 1662 school to see what system of school is most effective for learning. The results showed that among the top 50 schools 6 of them were small schools, so this made them to invest and there policy focused on small system of school. This becomes a causality convenience to accept that small school are superior to big schools, but this causality analysis is pointless because the facts are wrong. If the researcher has been asked what the characteristic of the worst schools is, then they would have found bad schools were also small schools.
This simple intuition of how conclusions are daily easily made out of the generic causality we have developed is something to wonder. Bringing into perspective, it is not difficult to say most of us are all so incline to believe and have certain notions of opinion just because somebody said, or a story was heard, or new findings seem really astonishing. But, this alone is not whole; it could lead to a common negligence of error.
It is more convenient to draw to a conclusion to the content of the message, than its reliability. It is a simplistic approach. A number of 50 individual would have resulted 28 of them preferred ‘scientific concept’. Who knows we too can be just taking a small sample for our lives. ‘Small is beautiful’ is a phrase to champion small, but ‘bigger is better’ which is in some cases.