Singular data points

When you see one pigeon and it turns out to be white, you can’t then infer that all pigeons are white. It is better to observe several random pigeons in different parts of the world to arrive at such a conclusion. Even then you can’t really conclude that all pigeons in the world are white. This is because you have never seen all the pigeons in the world. Rather you will say that most pigeons are white within a certain degree of confidence. We should therefore not make certain assertions based on singular data points.

Now when you’re in a tight spot you maybe tempted to reach certain conclusions based on observations you see. Perhaps you may assume that this is the worst thing to happen to you. Or that this situation will never end. Or maybe you should just give up. As we have seen you can’t make decisions based on one data point. Better to make a significant number of observations before throwing in the towel. For instance how many people in the world have gone through a similar situation? How did they cope? How do I know that this too shall not pass? What happens if I try a different approach?

When you collect data from multiple sources you are more likely to make a more informed and objective decision.

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