Cluttering Illusion: Our brains love to find meaning in short‐term trends and rush to conclusions. Avoid irrational small sample size bets.
I went to Seattle for a week last summer and loved the city so much that I'm considering moving there. My friend Ev, who stays there for his undergrad, asked me to try out the winter first before having any conclusion.
This kind of consideration or decision isn't uncommon. We join a company because one friend says they're doing well there. We buy a $3000 treadmill after having good experiences with the treadmill at the gym three times. We irrationally make big decisions based on small sample sizes all the time.t
Sometimes a small sample size might be representative enough to be seen as the microcosm of the whole thing. However, we must remember that our brains love to find meaning in short‐term trends and rush to conclusions, especially if the small data set supports something we want to do.