Anecdotal value

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In communication studies, science communication, psycholinguistics and choice theory, anecdotal value refers to the primarily social and political value of an anecdote or anecdotal evidence in promoting understanding of a social, cultural, or economic phenomenon. While anecdotal evidence is typically unscientific, in the last several decades the evaluation of anecdotes has received sustained academic scrutiny from economists and scholars such as Felix Salmon[1] S. G. Checkland (on David Ricardo), Steven Novella, R. Charleton, Hollis Robbins, Kwamena Kwansah-Aidoo, and others. These academics seek to quantify the value of the use of anecdotes, e.g. in promoting public awareness of a disease. More recently, economists studying choice models have begun assessing anecdotal value in the context of framing; Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky suggest that choice models may be contingent on stories or anecdotes that frame or influence choice.[2] As an example, consider Joseph Stalin's apocryphal quote: The death of one man is a tragedy, the death of millions is a statistic.[3]

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  1. ^ http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2014/02/02/viral-math/ Viral as Anecdotal
  2. ^ Modeling Patient Decision-Making: The Role of Base-Rate and Anecdotal Information
  3. ^ Solovyova, Julia (October 28, 1997) Mustering Most Memorable Quips, The Moscow Times States: Russian historians have no record of the lines, "Death of one man is a tragedy. Death of a million is a statistic," commonly attributed by English-language dictionaries to Josef Stalin. Discussing the book by Konstantin Dushenko (Константин Душенко) Dictionary of Modern Quotations (Словарь современных цитат: 4300 ходячих цитат и выражений ХХ века, их источники, авторы, датировка). (This quotation probably was originated from the novel "Der schwarze Obelisk" by Erich Maria Remarque (1956): "Aber das ist wohl so, weil ein einzelner immer der Tod ist — und zwei Millionen immer nur eine Statistik.")

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