Posted: Jun 12, 2010 11:52 am
by Dr. Nancy Malik
DST70 wrote:

anecdotal evidence is no substitute for actual peer reviewed scientific analysis

What I was trying to say is that personal testimony covers a huge range of experience. There's the kind of reporting that you can correct with reference to an error in perception/memory e.g. eyewitness testimony. But there's also more direct and intimate first person accounting that's not always easily explained with reference to generalised data.

It counts as weak evidence though in the sense that the scientific data is not supportive. So there's a discrepancy between the two types, at least it seems to me. The placebo effect is obviously not always plausible to many of those with certain strong cases of non-scientific testimony.


If a person were to walk out of their house to the town centre and witness someone having their bag snatched or witness a car accident, then when they relay this information to the Police or to their friends and family, it is anecdotal evidence.

If someone go on holiday, stays at a nice hotel, eats delicious food, comes back home and relates the holiday to their friends, that is anecdotal evidence.

What if someone witnessed a car accident and the Police wanted them to make a statement? Would the statement in court be dismissed as anecdotal evidence? Would the police, even if they arrived at the scene of the accident to find the person still there comforting the passengers or trying to help, say they had not been there and their evidence is non existent?