anecdotal evidence

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anecdotal evidence

Evidence 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.

anecdotal evidence

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
References in periodicals archive ?
In particular, increases in labor compensation had been comparatively subdued over an extended period of what seemed to be relatively full employment high-lighted by anecdotal reports of scarcities of various types of labor in numerous parts of the country.
While there were continuing anecdotal reports of expanding export markets, some members expressed reservations about the extent to which the economies of major foreign trading partners would strengthen over the forecast period and the related prospects for growth of foreign demand for U.S.
Members referred to recent indications, including widespread anecdotal reports, of considerable gains in housing activity after a period of pronounced weakness during the earlier months of the year.
exports were now quite competitive in world markets, as evidenced by continuing gains in exports to numerous countries, and such a perception was reinforced by anecdotal reports of increasing foreign sales of a variety of products by firms around the country.
However, some anecdotal reports suggested that investment in plant and equipment might be stronger than expected in an environment of tight labor supply and elevated levels of capacity utilization, intense desires to control costs and improve competitiveness, and a still relatively low user cost of capital.
The anecdotal reports pointed to seasonal increases ranging from moderate to strong in various regions, but some members emphasized that sales volumes were being buttressed by unusual promotional efforts, including relatively large discounts.
Tending to confirm such an assessment were anecdotal reports suggesting that recent additions to inventories were largely intended and not the result of disappointing sales.
"These results confirm anecdotal reports that sexual activity can trigger a heart attack, but more importantly they demonstrate that the absolute risk is very low," Muller says.
Broad measures of wages and prices suggested little change in inflation trends in recent quarters, but worrisome signs of greater inflation were evident in the prices of materials purchased by business firms and in anecdotal reports of successful efforts by an increasing number of businesses to pass on rising costs by raising prices.
"They use secondary and tertiary sources, anecdotal reports, different time periods, different methodologies, different terminology.
Our surveys as well as anecdotal reports indicate that banks have been easing standards and terms on business loans for more than a year, and they have become more aggressive in seeking to extend consumer and residential mortgage loans.
Today, while individual acts of medical heroism help to mitigate yet another epidemic, there are anecdotal reports of physicians refusing to care for people infected with the human immuno-deficiency virus (HIV).