Friday, December 14, 2012

Gangnam style dancing can be harmful for your health!

Good morning economists. Today I would like to talk about anecdotal evidence. Allow me to explain. Have you heard about the slogan "seat belts save lives"? It is generally accepted by everyone and in fact it is backed up by statistics that seat belts constitute a vital safety feature in automobiles. However there are those who would argue the opposite.

A friend of mine was telling me how a distant uncle of his was involved in an accident and was not wearing his seat belt at the time. "He was thrown out of the car when he hit a wall. The car immediately burst into flames. If he was wearing his seat belt he would probably be killed". This was his argument. And he concluded..."in the end it is better not to wear seat belts at all".

See how my friend generalized an otherwise isolated incident? It would be very difficult indeed to replicate the exact conditions of the accident so such generalizations are incorrect and dangerous.
 A couple of days ago, Earmonn Kilbride, 46 from the UK collapsed after dancing to the rhythms of the Gangnam style song during his office Christmas party. Earmonn unfortunately suffered a heart attack and passed on. Immediately the media jumped on the story portraying the idea that Gangnam dancing can be harmful to one's health. Of course it goes without saying that this is just another example of anecdotal evidence.

So steer away from arguments based on anecdotal evidence. They are bound to affect your decision making process in a negative manner.

Have a nice day!

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