Short, self contained stories or reports of true events or people.
Useful as a way to remember key points.
Useless as a way of conveying important information. Useless because for those without context of what the anecdote summarises, the risk of misunderstanding rises significantly.
So when creating anecdotes, include as much breadth and depth as you can manage.
And when consuming anecdotes from others, ask a few questions:
- what is this really about?
- is this really plausible?
- are there supporting information out there
If you do, chances are, you will not believe and make fundamental decisions on half or never truths.
Image credit: https://medium.com/@philcross/the-bias-in-anecdote-6bca97f950c5