anecdotal evidence(redirected from Anecdotal report)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.
Related to Anecdotal report: anecdotal record
anecdotal evidenceEvidence based on the occurrence of single unique event (e.g., a case report of an unusual medical finding or response to a therapy).
Anecdotes are extremely weak support of a theory; even if the event itself has been verified, its occurrence may be inappropriately attributed to an unusual therapy, and other unrecognised factors (confounders) may have invalidated the initial prediction of demise. Multiple similar anecdotes do not significantly increase support and at best serve justify a scientific experiment to empirically test the theory.
Evidence based on anecdotes arising from the analysis of individual clinical cases, rather than the study of scientifically randomized groups of patients. Such evidence may be true or false, but it is always unreliable because it is based on hearsay, faulty reasoning, or other cause.
See also: evidence
n information obtained from personal accounts, examples, and observations. Usually not considered scientifically valid but may indicate areas for further investigation and research.